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Conclusion of the 5 stages to get through the most painful part of life...loss. Find the causes of grief, the 5 stages we go through and how to deal with grief and loss.

5 Stages of Grief and Loss-2

Continued from 5 Stages of Grief and Loss

For a more complete understanding, here are the recent popular books on grief and loss.

Depression:  This is the most dangerous stage of grief.  Everyone goes through depression before they can heal from a major loss.  My childhood Barber and his 3 friends made up a golf foursome for most of their adult life.  All of them died from natural causes within one year of each other.  The Barber's wife died 6 months after he did.  It's possible to will yourself to death if you don't get over the depression stage of grief.  With some people, depression is so deep, they don't wait for natural causes.  If you feel you or a loved one is too deeply depressed over a loss, look at Depression Treating for ideas.  The closer the attachment, the deeper and longer the depression will be.  I remember being depressed for about 2 months after the loss of a job.  I still ate and everything, but I was definitely uninterested in most any aspect of life...just wanted to give up.  Within 18 months of that loss, we founded, and nothing has been the same since.  There is always light at the end of the tunnel, but for someone suffering a great loss, the tunnel is long and dark.  Unless there is a suicide threat or they are about to lose their job, house, etc. it's better to let the grieving person work through their depression.  When we're going through this part of the grief process, all of life seems pointless...but then we start to see some joyful things.  We almost feel guilty when we laugh or enjoy something because the one we lost isn't there.  Then we start to realize that they won't be there, in a physical sense, for the rest of our lives.  We choose to be happy anyway...not happy because they're gone, but happy despite their absence, and happy because that's what they would have wanted.  My sister didn't want people to be moping around, so, when I spoke at her memorial, I wore a funny hat and bright lemon tennis shoes.  It didn't work on any of us, but it reminded us she wanted us to be happy, anyway.  That transition is what brings us to the final stage.

Acceptance:  This isn't all bells and fireworks.  It's a decision to be at peace with the way things are.  To know that no amount of denial, bargaining, anger or depression is going to recover our loss.  We begin to accept that loss is part of life.  It's not good or bad...just how it is.  So we decide to go on, to find joy in our lives and to bring joy to the lives of others.  The most noble sign of acceptance I've seen is when a grieving person, uses his empty spot as motivation to try to make the lives around him less empty. 

You can't get any fuller than when you're overflowing to someone else.

How To Deal With Grief:  We are all different and deal with grief in different ways.  The above stages are meant to help us get a handle on our grief, not to bind us to a grief procedure.  Hopefully, understanding there are some general things we have in common can help us the next time we have a loss.  We can find it easier to deal with emotions if they aren't a surprise.  We can find it easier to express those emotions if we know others feel them, too.  In sharing this way, maybe we can all heal faster and stronger and so, be ready when another grieves. 

If you're dealing with grief over a loss, I can't feel your loss but I know what mine feels like.  I wish I had a magic wand that could bring back those we love.  I can't, but it gives me great peace to know I'll be reunited with my loved ones one day.  If someone you love has died, this isn't the end for them or for you.  God can bring you together with them and Him, forever.  He can help ease your grief right now.  If you'd like God's help to deal with your grief, click God Help Me.

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