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Losing a loved one

Can be the most painful time in our lives. Whether it's losing a partner or a parent, the grief can at times feel unbearable and never ending. Sometimes the pain never ends, there are no guarantees that we will ever be able to fully process a loss that we experience but life will continue for all of us, whatever form that life takes. I have experienced loss in my own life so I am aware of how painful it can be to go through this experience.





So how can we begin to understand loss and how our minds can begin to process a loss in our lives?


There are many theories that explain bereavement and what happens to us, the most well known being a theory developed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. This theory was originally developed in the late 1960's and it's still relevant today. A loss can be the loss of a person but it can also be the loss of a relationship, job or friendship, in fact anything that we lose from our lives can cause us to mourn that loss.


The five stages of the Kubler-Ross theory are broadly identified as:

Denial

This always feels like the hardest part emotionally. It feels impossible to accept that something or someone has gone. We are shocked and confused and still in the very early stages of loss. Everything can feel out of control and almost not real

Anger

Frustration, irritation and anxiety are common feelings at this stage. Why did this happen to me? It's not fair, why have I suffered this loss. Why was my loved one taken from me? Anger can be the point where some of us get stuck, we can't move past the anger connected to our loss.

Depression

We can feel overwhelmed and hopeless in this stage and we might feel like running away from the emotional pain that we are experiencing. We know that running away won't stop the pain but it can sometimes feel like the only option for us

Bargaining

This stage is towards the end of the grieving process and where we can start to process our feelings around our loss. We might start to talk to people, or talk about the person or the situation where we've experienced our loss. We might see someone professionally at this stage as we might be ready to talk and try to understand ourselves a bit more.

Acceptance

This is the final stage in this model and it's hopefully the stage where we feel that we can move on in life and live our lives without the person, job or item that we've lost.


It's important to remember that we don't all move through these stages logically, sometimes we can take a few steps back and get stuck in the process for a while before we're ready to move on. But hopefully in time, we can all move to acceptance and we may still cry when anniversaries arrive, or a trigger occurs (for me it's the film A Star is Born, guaranteed to move me to tears) and we can feel like we're right back there in the middle of our grief, back at the beginning of our loss, but time can be a great healer for some of us and we can hopefully learn to live our life in a different way. If you're stuggling with bereavement then Cruse is a bereavement charity that offers bereavement support. Take care everyone xxx



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