STAGES OF GRIEF

At one time or another, we have all experienced the stages of Grief. Most of the time it starts when we are kids and a pet dies. It is often followed by the death of a grandparent. However, as we grow and experience life lessons and events, we gradually get introduced to other types of losses. Loss of a job, divorce, financial loss, custody loss, bankruptcy loss, relationship loss, loss of identity in self, political loss.

Many losses, but how often do we fully understand what loss means? What does it do to us? How do we recognize underlying feelings regarding the loss? The stages of Grief, help us to understand what we will have to work through in order to experience growth and the ability to move on with our life.

Let’s focus on anger we are experiencing world-wide due to the Corona Virus, Covid-19. How can we experience anger about something that is out of our hands? We are angry and frustrated because it is out of our control, and we can’t fix it… especially when it impacts our family and us?

In the grief process, we probably experienced shock first, when the virus was reported. It didn’t take long for denial to visit us as we both hung on and challenged the news reports and the leader of our country. Confusion sets in as we listened to opposing views from people all over the world. Were the experts wrong? What are we going to do about this? Why isn’t help on the way immediately? Whose to blame for this pandemic? Who is lying…who is telling the truth?

Then the truth hits home in a personal way. Job on the line. Kids at home. No babysitter. Worry as to how bills are going to be paid. Frustration due to boredom and trying to help the kids with on-line learning designated, “the new normal”. But you didn’t ask for things to change! Pressure is building and you are finding no solace on the daily news as reports of loss repeats itself over and over. Dad pressured over job and money; Mom trying to keep kids in school – while kids are “bored!”

Admit it now. YOU are angry! Very, very angry at the turn of events that you have no control over! Depression sets in and your mind draws a blank as to what you can do to help yourself and your family.

It is best to take care of YOUR feelings first before you get sick. What goes on in your mind can go into overload and then it goes to your body…thus, sickness. Once you come to terms with how you feel, admit your feelings of helplessness in the situation and finally, strive for acceptance of dealing with your emotions; especially, since there is no immediate solution to the issues causing the conflict inside of you.

Go to a room by yourself. First of all, think of all the things you can be thankful for on this day at this hour. You have families and friends who love you and you love them. But most importantly, admit your anger and frustration and find steps to personally deal with it. If your a Christian, look to your faith. If not, look to any higher power that will help the anger. Or, use a punching bag with gloves on until you can’t move those arms anymore from the workout/exercise. Find humor and hold onto it. Read books on Anger and Loss and how to cope. Cut back on news reports. Find different ways to rebond with the family. If you live alone, do facetime with family or friends. Call everyone who was ever your friend and share fond memories together. Find a project that expresses your anger…i.e., Go through an article and cross out any negative words on the page, or tear up a phonebook.

Finally, dig deep to bring out the best in yourself that makes you feel better. Virus or not, Life IS short so everyday we should strive to make it the best day. Reach for the “quiet” within.

PEACE