How To Grieve
Be aware of the process. But it’s not a precise process. Everyone will process their grief a bit differently than the next person. However, there are some generalized descriptions that are useful – kind of like milestones along a journey – to let you know that you are making progress. Or not.
The person starts out in a state of relative stability and then the bomb goes off. Over unspecified periods of time, he or she progresses through these stages:
• Immobilization stage – Shock; initial paralysis after being exposed o the crisis or trauma. It takes a while for the enormity to register and sink in.
• Denial stage – Trying to avoid the inevitable.
• Anger stage – Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion. Rage seething below the surface at all times; lashing out at anyone for the slightest reason; blaming others; sometimes cold, icy anger; self-isolating to avoid blowing up.
• Bargaining stage – Seeking in vain for a way out. Making promises to God if He’ll fix things; setting conditions for healing.
• Depression stage – Final realization of the inevitable. A sad time, but also the turning point, because the griever is finally resolved to the fact that he or she won’t be able to restore life to the way it was.
• Testing stage – Seeking realistic solutions.
• Acceptance stage – Finally finding the way forward. They are now fully acknowledging the trauma or crisis.