The Road to Recovery
Everyone experiences grief differently. Some hold it in. Others
try to get rid of it by letting it out. Regardless of how grief
affects a person, it always hurts. Thankfully, grief is not a
permanent state but a process one goes through as a means of coping
Grief is a deep mental anguish. Often, though, it manifests
itself in physical ailments which dominate both mind and
body. Consequently, people experiencing grief are often
unprepared for the overwhelming effect it may have on their
Chances are if you're reading this you're grieving over the loss
of a loved one. That's okay. It means that you were lucky enough to
have had someone special in your life for a period of time. What
you're experiencing is loss. And loss is difficult. It brings fear,
anger, sadness and unfamiliarity. The troubling aspect of all this
is that you didn't invite any of these emotions into your life but
now they're here and you must deal with them.
It is important to understand grief and its effects while you're
grieving. Understanding leads to acceptance, and acceptance leads
to healing. Grieving does not make you weak. It makes you strong.
It is important to be able to admit to yourself that you are
hurting, even if you can't quite admin it to others. Once you've
acknowledged its presence, you can begin getting through it.
Although is may seem impossible, what you're feeling now is
temporary. Anguish, like any other emotion, does not last forever.
Grief has a beginning and an end, although the end may not be
obvious. If you can get through the beginning, you'll rejoice in
greeting the end. Reaching the end takes time, but time is a great
Research has shown that grief has three recognizable stages. The
first is shock and/or denial. This was probably your initial
response to the death of your loved one. Although you may have
outwardly accepted the loss, inwardly your brain refused to accept
the message. Slowly, awareness began to creep in buy you probably
were still thinking; "No, I can't believe it. It can't be
In the denial stage, you ability to comprehend is limited and
disbelief is the major emotion experienced. It is suggested that
this is due to the fact that your body can't handle the full impact
of shocking news all at once. As a result, your mind only allows
you to absorb the news a little at a time in tolerable doses.
The real pain of grief comes with the second stage;
anger/depression. It is in this stage we begin asking; "Why?" We
feel hurt, alone, confused and frustrated. And it's at this stage
that grief begins to affect us physically as well as emotionally.
You may experience loss of appetite, inability to sleep, unexpected
tears, upset stomach, memory lapses, weight loss, nightmares and
other physical reactions that impair you ability to function
normally. It is important to understand that these ailments are
perfectly normal responses to grief.
The final stage of grief is understanding/acceptance. Questions
have been raised as to whether or not one can ever fully grasp the
significance of the loss of a loved one, although a certain amount
of understanding is necessary for recovery. Acceptance, therefore,
is the most important aspect of this stage. That doesn't mean your
life will never be good again. It just means it's changed. As a
result you will be changed too.
Grief differs from person to person based on the length of time
it affects a person and the intensity with which it hits. However,
everyone goes through all three stages of grief to some extent.
Some stay longer in a given stage than others. Some experience a
stage more than once; but all stages are normal and necessary to
the recovery process.
Unfortunately there is no magic formula to help speed up the
grief process. It must run its course, in its own time and in its
own way. There are ways to soften the effects of grief; however, by
taking an active role in the recovery process you can minimize the
Here are some points to help in grief recovery:
Be patient with yourself - Healing occurs in
almost unnoticeable increments.
Recognize your life is going to
Realize that you are more than just the pain you
Don't be afraid to think, it will help you with
Postpone making major
Remember, the Road to Recovery takes COURAGE.
Click each letter to learn more.
||hanges and feelings
|| time for recovery
||rowth and opportunity