I found this outline in my old notebooks. Since my daughter, capt_ayhab, Maziar58 and vildemose have recently expressed intense first hand Grief-laden experiences, I think this condensed map may help them (us) with identifying themselves (ourselves) in our individual points toward a proper-enough recovery in order to open up space in our minds and hearts for new experiences.
Granted with most Iranians of my generation, having experienced losses at multiple levels only by the virtue of leaving our homes, families and all things familiar, at early stages of our lives - we are still at some juncture struggling for true recovery from who and what we lost. In essence we are grieving each day, even when we choose to disconnect from it all by delving into touch and go connections, virtual or real.
My hope is for us to realize this: To let go means to fear less and love more.
Six Stages of Grief
1. Shock and Total disbelief.
Your world is thrown upside down. You feel out of control. Rarely is anyone prepared. At best you go through the motions. Memory lapses are common. Shock is a defense mechanism which helps you through the first few days of a devastating event so you don't feel the full impact of the changed circumstances.
2. Denial - A buffer to the reality of the situation.
Denial prevents us from dealing with the feelings the new circumstance bring with it. The longer we are in denial, the longer we avoid facing our grief. Many who stay in denial begin to find other ways of numbing their pain, often with drugs, alcohol, or other addictions. We pretend if we don't think about something, it will go away and normalcy will return. However, we must feel the pain in order to begin to heal. When we refuse to feel the pain, we also prevent ourselves from feeling love, joy and other positive emotions.
3. Bargaining - I will give up something, or work really hard.
I'll go to church every Sunday, I'll check the locks three times before going out...If only... But time cannot be turned back. While bargaining provides temporary comfort, if carried on too long, it can prevent healing and the ability to go on with life.
4. Anger - The sense of being powerless and out of control.
Anger at those you feel responsible for placing you in the situation. Blaming God, temper tantrums, outbursts, or turning anger inward: depression. The longer we keep anger repressed, the longer it stays in our bodies. It will show up in our relationships with others. It will show up as disease, disability or symptoms. It can abolish the ability to work efficiently. The more a person bottles up their feelings of anger, the more likely that person will explode. Unless anger is properly addressed, it can turn into rage.
5. Guilt - Guilt is genuine phase of grieving.
People will feel as if they have failed or done something wrong. Guilt is more profound when a person is part of a tragedy (survivor guilt). Blaming ourselves for a dreadful situation is common. We curse our shortcomings and repeat our should-haves. Guilt will hamper progress in healing. Ask yourself, What lesson am I learning from this? How will this change my life? Is there some way that the new knowledge I have gained can help someone else?
6. Acceptance - As we acknowledge the situation for what it is, our wounds begin healing and we can move on with our lives.
This may not mean that the new circumstances are agreeable, or that grieving is completed. At times we may fall back into guilt or depression. With acceptance we can reinvent ourselves and create a new future. We may carve out a new sense of values. we can find new opportunities borne out of our loss. While we cannot return to the way it was, we can still discover meaningful things for us to do. A new set of realities has been thrust upon the person. Realities which the individual may not be fully aware of. These new circumstances need to be dealt with.
Adapted from: A Guide to Recovery; Regreiving by Diane Welch Vines, Ph.D
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