Loss and the Grief Cycle //
Grief comes when we have lost someone or something that was important to us. If could be something like loss of a loved one, job loss, losing a home or moving to a new place, the breakup of a relationship, chronic illness or other things that bring trauma or change to our life.
Symptoms of grief also can appear when it comes to miscarriage or abortion. Although in large part the medical community may disagree, there is mounting evidence of women and men over the decades who have experienced grief associated with loss due to abortion. Because abortion has so much connected to it, medically, politically and religiously, the long term emotional, mental and spiritual effects are not talked about but have affected thousands. Grief cycles are real no matter what kind of loss it is and can manifest in many ways that we may not realize. Know the cycles and signs so that you can reach out for help if you need it.
Denial – You may feel shock or numbness thinking that it can’t be really happening. This is a normal defensive mechanism for the mind to cope with the overwhelming emotion connected to the loss.
Anger – When you begin to face the reality of the situation, the pain may cause you to feel frustration or helplessness that manifests into anger. It could be directed toward others, yourself, a higher power (God), or life in general.
Bargaining – This is when we think a lot about what could have been done to change or prevent the loss – the “what if” or “if only” thoughts. If you have spiritual beliefs you may try to “make deals.”
Depression – You may begin to feel overwhelmed and regretful which can cause sadness and depression. Signs include sleep issues, appetite or weight changes, anxiety, crying, moodiness, loss of interest in things that once brought you happiness.
Acceptance – This is when you reach the point that nothing can be changed and even though you still feel sadness you begin to move on with life. You accept the reality of the loss and learn to function again with the absence.
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing inability to perform normal routines like work, chronic depression, thoughts of hopelessness or harming yourself, or inability to stop blaming yourself.