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It Gets Better

By on March 27, 2011

If you live long enough, each of us will grieve the loss of something and/or someone close to our heart. 

Grieving is a natural response to  loss. The emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away is a healthy response and should not be shamed. You may associate grief with death of a loved one – But any signifcant loss can cause grief, including:

  • The end of a relationship
  • Loss of good health
  • Losing a career
  • Loss of financial independence
  • A miscarriage
  • Death of a family pet
  • Loss of a cherished dream or goal
  • A loved one’s serious illness
  • Loss of a friendship
  • Loss of safety after a trauma

The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief can be. And the signs are important to watch for. Signs of grief can mimic alot of things so it’s good to ask questions and be observant. People dealing with grief might become isolated, have a sudden change in their emotional affect, become extremely sad, angry,  as well as feeling numb. 

In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what became known as the “five stages of grief,” which are widely accepted in mental health today. They include:

  • Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
  • Anger:Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
  • Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”
  • Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
  • Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”

If you or someone you care about needs support dealing with a loss, there are resources to help. Consider a local support group, clergy, a counselor or therapist, a friend or family member. Feelings of grief should not be ignored but addressed. Remember there is no right or wrong way to grieve — but there are healthy ways to cope with the pain. You will get through it!

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