The Grieving Process is a very natural way to cope with the loss of a loved one. Your feelings—whatever you feel and however you feel—are perfectly okay. Overcoming grief and transitioning through the Grieving Process can take time. Allow yourself that time. But, beyond that, how does someone overcome their grief and learn to move forward in their life? Before addressing that question, it is helpful to first understand the Grieving Process.
There are several stages of the Grieving Process as identified by American Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. These stages are simplistically outlined below:
- Denial: “This can’t be happening to me. I don’t believe this is happening.”
- Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
- Bargaining: “I’ll do anything to change what is happening.”
- Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything. I can’t even understand what’s happening.”
- Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”
These stages of The Grieving Process can be experienced in any order. There is no right or wrong way to feel. It is also possible that you may not go through all of these stages. As well, you may feel some additional emotions based on your relationship with the departed. The above-listed stages are only suggested as possibly being the most common. But, as previously stated, “Your feelings—whatever you feel and however you feel—are perfectly okay.” And very normal.
Understanding the Grieving Process and allowing yourself time to work through your feelings are really the keys to overcoming grief. Because everyone is different, there is no set amount of time to expect for healing. It all depends on how deeply affected you are and what kind of support system you have.
Encouragement from others can absolutely help you through the Grieving Process. As Mark Twain once said, “ Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy must have someone to divide it with.” Whether you find comfort in family and friends (who may also be experiencing the same loss) or seek guidance from a professional counselor or psychologist, having someone to talk to can be immensely helpful. You may even try a grief support group.
You may also find that engaging in some fun activities and ultimately returning to your regular life routine will make it possible for you to heal more quickly. It is also important to take care of yourself, including eating nourishing food and getting some rest. For your body, mind, and heart to heal, you must remember to keep up healthy habits as best as you can.
But, while you’re grieving, take heart that everything will be okay. There is no question that you will always miss your loved one, but time really is a healer. And, at some point, when you have gone through the Grieving Process in your own personal way, you should find that things get easier and the thought of your departed loved one will bring happy and joyful memories to mind.