Grief and Loss

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, the noted psychiatrist, identified the phases of grieving and loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These are not merely a series of stages, but are instead emotional states that one experiences after losing a being of importance to them. The grief and loss can be of a loved or respected individual, or even a dear pet. The weight of the situation can seem impossible to bear, even overwhelming. In every case, the loss often leaves one feeling helpless and full of despair. There might be unfinished business or simply the emotion of grappling with the seemingly vacant space this being once filled.

Acknowledge Your Loss
It is important to sit with the feeling of your loss and experience it fully. Otherwise, one might find that they encounter problems because of the impact of unresolved grief. This can become apparent in unexpected ways and have unnecessary consequences: anger can be misdirected or one might take out these emotions on unsuspecting bystanders.

Depression can be incapacitating, where one does not want to do anything. Working skillfully with grief, one can learn with mindfulness practice to be with what is. This process can be extremely valuable, as the power of attention can be healing and surprisingly soothing. While acceptance may not come easily at first, in time, grief will be replaced with a calm and loving understanding. Talking with a trusted psychotherapist or counselor can pave the path to this kind of peace.