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  • Writer's pictureRylee Anderson

Grief Comes in Waves

The loss of a loved one is one of the hardest experiences one will go through. It has been continuously proven that there are “5 Stages of grief” a person can and will experience while grieving said loss. The stages include: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages are an important part of processing grief and adapting to a new reality. However, grief is anything but linear. While there may be similar components of the grieving process, everyone processes grief differently. Grief can be described–for most people–as something that comes in waves. Waves that carry a tsunami of emotions all at once, never following a specific outline.

When losing a loved one, the first stage of grief to hit first is denial. It is extremely common for people who’re grieving to experience extreme shock after loss because the brain is unable to comprehend the logistics of a new reality in which the person they loved has passed, people often describe a feeling of “numbness”. This stage is also seen as a coping mechanism that protects ourselves from feeling the true extent of our overwhelming emotions at the time and better paces our feelings of grief. It is an essential process of grieving, regardless of the circumstances in which the loved one passed, and is seen as the first stepping stone towards the direction of healing.

As I have mentioned before, grief comes in waves. Whilst it may seem as though a person has accepted the fate of their passed loved one and is no longer grieving, that may not always be true. In a similar way to depression, grief comes and goes. While someone you observe may be functioning and participating in normal daily activities, showing no outward signs of grief or depression, they could be battling the stages of grief inside. Others tend to neglect the grieving process which may seem like a healthy way to heal from this traumatic experience, but in retrospect only proves to be unbeneficial.

Grief truly is one of the most painful processes that an individual experiences throughout their lifetime. As much as we try to avoid the feelings or painful processes known to the human race we’re left with our whole life ahead of us to live in the absence of someone you have become fond of and accustomed to in your life. Regardless of how difficult and painful the grievance of a loved one may be, it is a natural way of processing a trauma and is guaranteed to happen even in our attempts to avoid it. It is part of evolving into the person we become, our values, perspectives and the wisdom we inherit in our lives.

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