Dealing with death is a process that everyone goes through at their own pace and in their own way. It is never easy to lose a loved one whether it be sudden or expected. Cancer is one way that someone can lose a family member or friend and as they watch them deteriorate before their eyes, they actually begin realizing that death may be the answer to stop their suffering. As hard as it is to say goodbye, it is actually a harder feat to stand by and watch as they go through day by day in pain and agony.
Someone asks at some point what grief actually is, and it is basically the symbolism of the mourning process. It is the exhaustion from crying so many hours, or possibly the shakiness that happens when one hasn’t eaten for days. Some people yell and scream while they cry and express all the feelings that exist within themselves, and yet others keep it all inside, where if left inside can actually be worse. Wandering around with all the anger, all the tears, and all the thoughts that are in your head, can actually over time make you sink into a massive form of depression. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ stages of grieving will help you better understand how to handle someone’s death and how to handle it within your own process.
The first stage is denial. Denial can mean that you just do not want to face that this person has just passed away and will no longer be on the earth with you. It is usually the first stage because it protects you from the pain of losing a loved one. The second stage is anger. Anger can be taken many different ways, some people can be angry and actually withdraw themselves away from everyone who wants to help. There are people who are angry with the deceased because it is easier to put the blame and resentment on them than to handle the known fact that it wasn’t their fault. It is common for those people who are angry to be quiet and feel detached from the world. Stage three is the bargaining phase. Feeling as if you can reverse things if you make a deal with god, will not work. The death has happened, however many people think that if they give up things for a certain amount of time, that that person who has passed will become alive again.
Depression usually follows bargaining, because at this point they realize that nothing will bring them back. Depression usually is a mental preparation that can format your brain to not be so emotionally close to people. The pain when someone passes away is so strong with certain circumstances, that everyone handles their depression differently. It’s usually a time when the person quietly works through unfinished feelings in their heads and begins to accept that the person has passed on. The end stage is acceptance. It is the time where they begin to come to terms with the death and realize that life does go on without that person. Every stage is handled in their own way, in their own time. There is no outline in life that tells them that they are only allowed to be depressed for a month, sometimes it takes much longer.
While everyone has different circumstances, different situations, everyone will also have different ways to express things as well. There are no wrong ways to express anger, as long as you are not battering someone or going around trying to hurt others. There are many ways to go about releasing angry emotions, such as screaming, exercising, punching a punching bag, role playing, and also just writing a letter to the deceased or whomever you are angry at . Don’t give them the letter, however get all those negative feelings out on paper and then either throw it out or burn it. Do not ever let anyone try to tell you that you are not correct in the way you handle grief, everyone grieves differently and at different lengths of time. You loved that person, or even pet, but it is completely healthy to release that grief, no matter how long it takes. If you ever get feeling of depression or suicide, please call a grief counselor or a psychiatrist/psychologist to ease you through this time.