Grief is one of the most devastating emotions we have to go through.
It rates at the top of the RAHE stress scale.
It is generally considered there are seven stages to go through. This usually takes around two years.
The seven stages are:
1) SHOCK AND DENIAL
Your initial reaction is typically one of disbelief, part of you denying the reality of your situation, in order to avoid the terrible pain which must follow your loss. You may feel numb, as though you are removed from the situation, almost as though you are standing on the side lines watching it all happen to another person, who just happens to be you. This is your sub-conscious mind giving you protection from being overwhelmed by the emotions coming all at once. This stage can last for many weeks.
2) PAIN AND GUILT
As the shock subsides, it is replaced by feelings of terrible almost unbearable pain. You want to run away and avoid this horrible suffering, some people will try to mask it with drugs or alcohol, however this will only bring them a partial relief for a very short time, and once there numbing effects wear off the pain is waiting and seems even more intense. It is essential to go through this pain as it is impossible to move on with your life without going through this distressing stage.
It is common during this time to feel guilt, going back over events and thinking you could have done more for your loved one.
You feel scared and alone, with no structure or purpose to your life. The world seems to be a very bleak place indeed.
As you move into the third stage of GRIEF you may begin to feel angry. This anger is unreasonable and without foundation, it is sometimes directed at the person you have lost, being angry with them for leaving you, how could they die and leave you to cope?
It is also frequently directed at those closest to you, you lash out perhaps even blaming them for the loss of your loved one, you are just looking for someone to take the blame, in order for you to make some kind of sense from this chaos.
You may rail at fate asking “why should this happen to me”. “Just bring them back, I’ll do anything”. You are simply looking for a way out of your despair and anguish.
THIS IS THE TIME TO SEEK HELP
These negative angry emotions can be very damaging both to yourself and those around you. As the anger turns to resentment and reproaches it can cause serious permanent damage to your relationships. Now is the time for you to learn how to release the damaging, negative emotion which has been seething inside you, but to release it in a safe way, so it will not cause further distress to your relationships.
In HYPNOTHERAPY you will be taught coping strategies and techniques which will enable you to let go. In the safety of the therapy room you can release the pain and anger and learn how to move forward and start to be happy once again.
Intervention at this time can make the next stage easier to go through.
At this stage you may find people telling you to “pull yourself together”, or “snap out of it”. However this is the time when the full realisation of your loss hits you, a time for getting used to a world without your loved one in it. You may wish to spend time alone remembering times with your lost one.
This is perfectly normal, a natural stage to be worked through, and the emptiness of this period can be greatly eased with HYPNOTHERAPY. This stage allows you to put everything into perspective and to move into the latter stages of the grieving process.
5) THINGS START TO GET BETTER
Life starts to feel a little calmer, more settled. You find yourself less pre-occupied with the past, once again taking pleasure in things. The blackness is starting to lift from your world.
6) REBUILDING YOUR WORLD
This is a time of coming out of hibernation; your mind begins work properly. Your good emotions start to re-emerge. You may decide it is time to sort out the estate or any problems posed by the death of your loved one.
It is a time of re-adjustment as you begin to build a new and positive life for yourself, you are now ready to move into the final stage of grieving.
7) ACCEPTANCE AND HOPE
This is the final stage, a time to start again, you have learned to let go of the past, to accept your loss and move forward. You understand the reality of your situation, you may not yet be totally over your loss but you are able now to see a future.
You can now move forward into the sunshine once more, you begin to remember your loved one without pain, but with fond memories.
You can now begin to be happy once again and find joy in the experience of living.
Although grief is usually associated with loss through bereavement, it can be caused by other forms of loss. When a previously loving relationship is removed it can cause you to enter the grieving process. Therefore in cases of separation and divorce the deserted partner may need this time to grieve their loss and only by allowing themselves this time are they able to re-build their lives and find happiness again.