There are several different known “phases of grief” that we can identify, but there will always be individualized ways to respond to it. Different people go through the phases at different times and in different ways. It is more important to work through the phases of grief, be prepared for what you will be experiencing at some point, than to worry about the “when” and for “how long” of them.
As we discuss these phases, know they may be a different order for you as well. The Five Stages of Grief, (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression & Acceptance) was a theory first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. It has been expanded over the years to include other aspects including shock, guilt and resignation.
The first phase for dealing with your grief often involves denial. Understanding, emotionally, that this loved one is gone, and that you are grieving is the first emotional dam that needs to be broken. You need to allow yourself to mourn. The second phase of the mourning process is bargaining with God or making promises to us to make the event and pain go away.
At this point, realize feeling lonely, sad, lost, angry, denying and emotional deal making is normal—and not weak. If you need to cry, then cry. There will be a time when you need to pick yourself up off the floor and get moving, but that time is not right away. If you do not let yourself have a time to grieve, you would cripple the sadness and loss within you, as stifling the natural healing and your ability to progressively repair. The pain and memories may always be with you and it is not doing a disservice to your loved and lost one to mourn their parting and memory.
HH4Heroes Grief Easing Strategy #2:
Be Patient & Kind to Yourself. While grieving, it is normal and expected to feel a broad range of emotions as part of the process. It is important to allow the feelings, not to judge them as well as give yourself time and space from your daily routine to process what has happened.
Take a some time off work, school, or out of whatever your normal schedule is, and spend that time to mourn. Remember the memories of the person you love. Write them down, or find photographs to frame. If you express yourself through artwork, then devote some artwork to their memory or likeness. Let yourself cry. Let yourself call up a friend or loved one and let them know what you are going through. They may not know what to say or do, nor can they take away the pain, but they can mourn with you.
Let yourself be free to remember what you will miss about them, what you loved about them, and the things that remind you of them. Acknowledge that your loved one is gone, but that their memory, and your love for each other, is not. This will be the beginning of your mourning journey; join us with this process, and continue with our next blogs.
(If you are suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides trained telephone counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Crisis help is a phone call away: 1.800.273.8255)
Remember…happiness is an inside job!
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Independent filmmaker, author, happiness coach and speaker Lisa Cypers Kamen creates these blogs to entertain, enlighten and educate our service men and women along with their families as well as support our troops. To contact Lisa, email her directly at email@example.com and check out her websites at www.harvestinghappiness.com , www.hh4heroes.org & www.harvestinghappinesstalkradio.com.
Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio with Lisa Cypers Kamen brings a fresh approach to the airwaves promoting happiness, well-being and global human flourishing by presenting a diverse and proactive collection of the greatest thinkers and doers who have devoted their lives to creating a better world in which to live.
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Harvesting Happiness for Heroes is a pending 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation. Our mission objective is to offer support services to Warriors and Warrior families challenged by Combat Trauma, PTSD and post-deployment reintegration issues. HH4Heroes offers Battle Buddy workshops, family awareness training, online community support, one-on-one coaching services, as well as retreats for Warriors to decompress from battle and understand the tools available for them to adapt their military skills to civilian society.
Harvesting Happiness & Harvesting Happiness for Heroes provides positive psychology coaching tools to facilitate greater well-being. This communication is provided for education and inspiration. This communication does not constitute mental health treatment nor is it indicative of a private therapeutic relationship. Individuals desiring help for trauma, addiction and abuse related issues or other psychological concerns should seek out a mental health professional.
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