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Learning to Live With Empty Spaces

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Have you ever called that number you know by heart to ask a simple question and realized that halfway through the 2nd ring, the person you’re trying to reach wasn’t going to answer? That they’re not able to anymore? Though we usually associate grieving with the death of a loved one, any loss can cause grief. This includes losing a job, the end of a relationship, a miscarriage, or loss of a friendship. To start, grieving is a natural response to loss. During the grieving process, you tend to experience all sorts of difficult emotions, from shock, guilt, or profound sadness. Generally, we all go through five different stages of grief.

  1. Denial

The initial reaction to grief is denial. Denying something gives you more time to gradually absorb the news before you begin to process it. This is a common coping mechanism that helps you numb the intensity of the situation.

  1. Anger

While denial can be considered a coping mechanism, Healthline explains that anger is a masking effect that hides many of the emotions you may carry. Not everyone will experience this stage, whereas some people may have that emotion lingering in them. You could be angry at your ex-spouse, yourself, or even God.

  1. Bargaining

It’s common to experience bargaining throughout the grieving process. In moments like this, it’s likely for you to find ways to regain control over an outcome. Hence, you may find yourself creating a lot of “what if” and “if only” statements.

  1. Depression

Depression is the most common stage connected with grief. Sometimes, the fog of depression feels like it might last forever. Even so, it’s necessary to give your mind time to process the pain. Nonetheless, if you can’t seem to move past this stage of grief, you can try talking to a trusted friend or family member.

  1. Acceptance

The final stage is acceptance. This doesn’t mean you’ve moved past your grief or loss. However, it means that you’ve accepted the loss is real and have come to understand what it means in your life now.

The grieving process looks different to each one of us; thus, there are reliable ways to help come to terms with your grief. Spending more time with family and friends can aid the grieving process. According to Eterneva, almost 50% of those grieving intensely say spending more time with friends and family is extremely helpful. Moreover, incorporating a periodic ritual into your life that has significance to you and loved ones who passed can help you acknowledge your loss more healthily. Based on other data by Eterneva, 65% of the people have a stronger appreciation for life after experiencing a loss. Coping with a loss is not a destination; it’s a journey. While time doesn’t heal all wounds, it does make for new normals, and that comes with both the bitter and sweet.

By Premi a/p T. Saravanan


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