Even though grief is not a fixed process with recognisable stages, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross has defined five stages which are responses to loss that many people have.
The five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – help us frame and identify our feelings but they are not linear and not everyone goes through them. There is no typical response to loss as there is no typical loss.
Grief comes and goes for a variable length of time, with recurrences that may be just as painful as at the beginning, although less prolonged. There is no schedule for recovery. You will do it in your own way, depending upon your individual personality and situation.
Sometimes the emotions and physical symptoms you have may seem overwhelming and too painful to bear. You feel you will never function normally again. It will be difficult to believe that even though you will never be the same, it will be okay.
Some of the emotions you may experience are disbelief and numbness, anger, guilt, fear and anxiety, powerlessness, sadness, despair, confusion and disorientation. You may experience a changed perspective and changed identity.
Solution-focused bereavement coaching will help you focus on those glimmers of moments when things are better and you feel more in control of your life. It can also help you access resources to cope with new responsibilities and role expectations, and assist you to move towards clarification, redefinition and acceptance.
TRE® (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) is a very effective body based tool to aid in coping with a loss – without having to talk about the loss.