Is there a right way to grieve?

Grief- sorrow caused by someone’s death.

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Photo Credit: MaryFrances Knapp

Maria Ramirez, Quote Seeker

As we all know, 2020 was a year of losses. You may have lost your job, your motivation, or the friendship and experiences of a year of school. For some of us, we have also experienced the loss of a family member or a friend.

When we lose someone close to us, we end up feeling a huge wave of sadness. What comes next after that wave will be different and often confusing for many of us. Is it right for me to feel anger?  How long should it take to “move on”?

Before you start Google if what you are feeling is ‘normal’, take some advice from North’s wonderful Intervention Specialist, Ms. Natalie Neer Hart. There is no such thing as normal, and you cannot grieve wrong.

“The stages of grief are fluid, not linear. You may be in and out of them and may not even hit each stage.”

Even still, there are certain patterns to grieving that might help you understand this all better.

So, what are the 7 stages of grief ? (https://www.healthline.com/health/stages-of-grief#7-stages)

  • Shock and denial. This is a state of disbelief and numbed feelings.
  • Pain and guilt. You may feel that the loss is unbearable and that you’re making other people’s lives harder because of your feelings and needs.
  • Anger and bargaining. You may lash out, telling God or a higher power that you’ll do anything they ask if they’ll only grant you relief from these feelings.
  • Depression. This may be a period of isolation and loneliness during which you process and reflect on the loss.
  • The upward turn. At this point, the stages of grief like anger and pain have died down, and you’re left in a more calm and relaxed state.
  • Reconstruction and working through. You can begin to put pieces of your life back together and carry forward.
  • Acceptance and hope. This is a very gradual acceptance of the new way of life and a feeling of possibility in the future.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Although, this website states the 7 stages of grief, doesn’t mean it’s always in the correct order.

Shock and denial almost always comes first after you lose someone close to you. It’s hard to process the loss of that person. One minute, they’re here and another their gone and this time physically gone forever. It’s okay to be in denial. You will come to accepting the loss at your own time and pace.

However, Pain/guilt and Anger/bargaining may come next after being in shock. You either start to blame yourself for not being with that person one last time or not being able to save them. Anger may also flow through your body. These feelings are normal. You are not crazy for being mad at the world. Blaming yourself is also normal; you love that person so much that you feel like taking guilt for their death is the right thing to do. You want to do so much more for them and now they’re gone. Timing plays a huge part in blaming yourself. What if’s start to play in your head. But there is one thing I can tell you, “what if” no longer exist. I’d recommend you to stop thinking too hard of what you could have done. Something that can help through the process of guilt is to think about all the good memories you two created. Think about the things you did do for them when they were still here.

Depression doesn’t really happen to a lot of people. Sometimes when you lose someone you want to be around people to fill that void and sometimes you may want to be alone. Both of those things are completely normal. You aren’t selfish if you decide to go shopping, or to eat with friends, instead of staying at home crying all day. Going out and staying in after a loss is normal.

One thing that is promised is that the void will never be filled but the anger and pain you feel will die down. This is the upward turn of grieving. Once those waves of emotions die down you will be able to reconstruct and start to “walk” again. You will start to live your life again. When you are ready to go out again you will begin to see things differently. Most of the time you try to find that person in other people or you start to see their favorite flower or food and you will think of them. This may cause you to get a little sadden; but I feel like it’s beautiful to see them in things that they loved so much. You are remembering them and that is what will most likely happen when you start to go out more after a loss.

Acceptance and hope is the last step of grieving. This happens for many a week, a month, a year or even 5 years after the loss. It will happen sooner for some and later for others. When this happens to you, you will feel blessed to have the people in your life. You will find life beautiful again. This doesn’t mean you will forget the person, you will never forget them. But, you will learn to live without them and that is the final stage of grief.  These stages may happen differently throughout your life and that is normal, what you feel is normal.

Photo Credit: Jill Zwarensteyn

The beauty of grieving is that it’s different for everyone. The best thing to do during these difficult times is to just awknowledge your feelings. Allow yourself to feel, but also allow yourself to be surrounded by a good support group. And if you feel like nothing is getting better, ask for help

Ms. Neer Hart wanted to share the following resources with you all :

 The first is the google slides I have put together, check out slide #7 for grief resource: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/19I4AAKCHV9zqHN2-1MhPPsX8TPGSEhOY-zyHf_djq9w/edit#slide=id.g98d5168929_0_3

Teams Resource: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/channel/19%3a44af5770229542b283e432a3fb3eff74%40thread.tacv2/GRIEF%2520and%2520LOSS%2520RESOURCES?groupId=bef21789-4dd1-4a26-86a2-7b9969a43cb2&tenantId=ca801861-8aa8-4e55-a03c-73ed165dbaf2

Whether you’re grieving, or you’re helping someone who is grieving, you are not alone. Reach out to your guidance counselor, Natalie Neer Hart, Mr. Haugen, or Mrs. Downing for support. One community resource you can contact, New Song center for Grieving Children and Their Families