The Truth of Death and Grief

There are a few things we all know about death and that is death is a part of life. Regardless of when it happens it’s never fair. When someone we care about dies we go through the stages of grief and loss which are:
  1. Denial and Isolation
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance
Everyone is different, with different personalities. Someone may not go through these stages in that order or may skip one altogether.
  1. Denial and Isolation. It’s common to hear something like “This isn’t happening, it can’t be happening”, we want to block out the words hurting us. We want to hide from the facts in front of us that someone we love is leaving us or has passed.
  2. Anger. Sometimes the anger could even be directed towards our deceased one which in reality we know they aren’t to be blamed. We may blame the medical professionals, or the driver of the other vehicle. We want to have someone to blame and will find anyone to blame in that moment.
  3. Bargaining. Feeling helpless is completely normal reaction. We want to be able to regain control of a situation so you start with the “if only” statements. We are trying to make a deal with God to not take our loved one from us.
  4. Depression: There are two types that are associated with mourning.
  5. Worrying about burial and funeral costs
  6. Being about to say goodbye. Sometimes you don’t get to say goodbye.
  7. Acceptance. Not everyone reaches these stages especially if you’re loved ones death was sudden or unexpected. Those may never get beyond denial or anger.
You may also experience some physical symptoms such as:
-stomach pain
-loss of appetite
– Lack of energy
– Digestive issues
– sleep disturbances
Also any current medical issues may worsen.
Some emotional issues you may experience:
-panic attacks
-suicidal thoughts
Now for the healing process:
  1. Grief is Normal- You will feel numb at first, there will be tears, you will be exhausted and yearning for the one you lost. Just remember it is all normal.
  2. Allow yourself to mourn. Whether it be through religious traditions, cultural traditions, or personal beliefs. That is a critical process that can help you lessen the intensity of the grief.
  3. Look to others for support. You will need support of family, friends, religious leaders or even professional help. This support is essential during a hard time like this.
  4. Take care of yourself. Try to get enough sleep. Eat well balanced meals and consider a medical checkup to make sure your health hasn’t declined.
  5. Don’t make major decisions while grieving. Grief can cloud your judgment to make good decisions. Try to not make any big decisions right away. If you are considering making a big change, get some advice from someone you trust.
Over the past couple years I have had a few deaths that hit close to me. The most painful death so far for me was my stepdad who was killed in 2014 in a motorcycle accident. It was an extremely hard time for my family. The small town of Cameron, MO where he worked and lived showed my family how much he was respected and loved in his town. We all grieved in our own way and took our time to get through the tragedy we had experienced. I remember his birthday was less than a month after his death and it reopened the wounds. Then the holidays that first year were rough but we made it through.
The other death I struggled with was my friend Jason who had committed suicide. This was shortly after I had started taking my antidepressants so it hit me hard. He was only 21 and a good friend but dealt with some depression. It was a tough funeral filled with many young people. These were two different deaths, different causes, and I grieved these deaths. They are both still on my heart and in my mind.
Remember goodbyes aren’t forever, they aren’t the end; they mean I’ll miss you until I see you again. If I learned anything about death its tomorrow is never promised so never take today for granted!
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional, if you are having a medical emergency please contact 911 immediately. This post is for informational purposes only. If you believe you have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

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