stand4hope Posted July 14, 2006 Share Posted July 14, 2006 How ironic is this? Instead of dreading Stage IV, Stage IV is what some of us on this Grieving forum are striving for: ~~~~~~~The Stages Of Grieving ~~~~~~~~~~~by Debra Moore Even though we are all different, grieving can sometimes follow a loose pattern. You will go through you grief in your own unique way, but it may be reassuring to know that others may follow similar journeys. If this does not describe your journey, that is fine. There is no right way to grieve. A death is like a wound. We take for granted that physical wounds require time as well as attention to heal properly. Emotional wounds are the same, though we often neglect to give them either the time or attention they deserve. When this happens, we may get stuck in our grief, and our sadness may turn to depression or simmering anger. You may be surprised to hear that psychologists do not expect the grieving process to be completed for about two years if the death is of a spouse or child. If the grieving process is allowed to run its natural course, this is a pattern you may experience. Stage I: Breaking Old Habits (Time of death to about eight weeks) Immediately after a death, feelings of numbness, acute pain, anger, or powerlessness may overcome you. Many decisions need to be made at this time and they may seem overwhelming. Countless routine habits remind you of your loved one and of your loss. You probably feel deep sadness and loneliness. During this period a grieving person may experience changes in appetite and sleeping habits. These disturbances generally last only a short time and clear up eventurally. If they do not, this may be a sign that you may want to seek professional counseling to talk about your feelings. You may also decide to seek counseling if you are having a difficult time allowing your feelings to emerge. Unexpected tears now are normal and help you move through your grief. Holding them back is not helpful and may actually prolong your grief. Being preoccupied with your loved one is also normal during this first stage. Many people report a sense of the deceased one's presence, and psychologists do not regard these experiences as abnormal at all. In fact, continuing to "talk" to your loved one may provide comfort at this time. This first stage is not the time to make important life changes. It is a time to be as kind to yourself as possible. Stage II: Beginning to Reconstruct Your Life (Eight weeks to one year) You probably continue to experience emotional unsettledness during this first year. You may be more prone to illness or accidents, may continue to have bouts of sleep disturbance or change in appetite, and may begin to cry unexpectedly, perhaps when seeing a scene on television that reminds you of a time with your loved one. You may experience lapses of memory or carelessness. Some survivors may now attempt to self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs. If you begin to depend on these substances, take an honest look at yourself and get professional help now. Things are likely to get worse without it. You may find yourself thinking of suicide. If these thougts linger or if they frighten you, seek out professional help to talk about them. A counselor will not think you are crazy because you have had suicidal thoughts, but will help you be sure you never act on them. During this first year, holidays and special dates are particularly painful. Remember that each year it will get easier. This is not the way it is always going to feel. By the anniversary of the death, you will be aware of some changes in yourself. You have a way to go, but can begin to look towards the future. Stage III: Seeking New Love Objects or Friends (One year to two years) If you have been allowing yourself to grieve, you will probably now notice that many routines have returned to normal. You may be sleeping, eating, remembering, and concentrating better. You can laugh again and seldom cry unexpectedly. You continue to think of the deceased, but not as often or with as much intensity. You are not as prone to illness or accidents. You have probably made some new friends by now, and have shared your experiences with them. You have probably started planning leisure activities more often, and are less lonely and more involved. If you are working, you are able to be as productive as before the death of your loved one. Your thinking is sharper and more focused. If this does not describe you at this point in your grieving, please consider talking to someone. If you are totally uncomfortable with the idea of seeing a professional counselor, at least open up to a close friend or family member. You may also want to read some books on grieving or do some journaling if you have not already done so. If you do decide to seek professional help, remember that you can go for only one visit or as many as you need. Stage IV: Readjustment Completed (After the second year) At this final stage, you have settled into your new life and activities. Things feel normal and routine. At times you feel quite content. You can look easily toward the future. Knowing that you have survived this loss tells you that you can survive anything. You know that pain eases in time and the wounds in your heart have healed. You may feel like a different person - and you are. You have changed and grown. If you have allowed the pain of your grief to be experienced, you have been rewarded with renewed hope and courage. http://www.planetpsych.com/zPsychology_ ... ieving.htm ~~The bold emphasizes my feelings only - your emphasis might be on something else ____________________________________________________ Can any of who have reached Stage IV let us know if this is pretty close to accurate? Like third base in baseball, I'm SAFE. I've slid into and barely touched third base (Stage III). In the past months, I truly couldn't believe that I would ever get better. How could I? I just couldn't "see" it. I now believe that there really is an end to grief. Love, Peggy Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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