The pain of losing a loved one can be a very profound experience. No two people cope with grief the same and there is no right or wrong way to feel. In fact, you may experience grief differently each time you experience a loss. Even children and teens tend to grieve in different ways than adults.
Read on to understand why grief hurts, and how to deal with the pain of losing a loved one.
Understanding The Five Stages of Grief
Everyone grieves in a different way. It is your natural response to a loss and unique to your personal journey.
You may have heard references to the “5 Stages of Grief” (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance), which is simply a tool to understand what you may be going through after a loss. However, it is important to remember each person reacts individually to each loss. The reference to “stages” is a framework, not an absolute timeline or order of events. You may experience acceptance and then anger, while never going through depression. Or you may be in such shock that you do not experience acceptance for a while.
Denial may help pace your feelings and let in only what you can handle. As you experience this emotion, feelings of anger may arise or you may get lost in “if only” statements and try to bargain for your loved one. Empty feelings of depression are also common while grieving. Acceptance, the last stage of grief, is often the time when you may accept the new reality that your loved one is gone.
Remember, these stages of grief may not be felt linearly. Rather you may experience one emotion more than another. And, if you’re not undergoing grief in this pattern, or are not feeling these emotions, don’t worry. Your experience may differ than the five stages of grief because we all cope with loss differently.
The Symptoms of Grief
There are common symptoms of grief that are important to know. Below are a few examples of common symptoms, both emotional and physical.
Typical expressions of emotional grief include shock, guilt, anxiety, and anger.
Common symptoms of physical grief include: appetite loss, fatigue, aches and pains, headaches.
Coping with grief takes time. Even if you have experienced a loss before, every situation may not be exactly the same.
To manage the pain, consider seeking support to help you through this difficult time. Find resources in your area that best suit your needs, whether it is family, trauma or grief support.
If a death has occurred or you’re interested in learning more about grief, Busch Funeral and Crematory Services can help. Our compassionate staff offers the highest levels of services and we’re available at any time day or night. Access our Grief Library for reading materials, visit our calendar of events to find a support program near you, or contact us with questions today.