Handling Grief and Loss

Death is an unavoidable aspect of our existence, with all of us at some point having to confront the difficulties of losing a friend or loved one. Loss is a universal phenomenon, but grief can occur to varying degrees and people may grieve in different ways, different intensity and for different lengths of time. While there are more common processes of grieving compared to others, it is important to accept that there is no ‘normal’ or tailor-made method to react to a loss.

Though many people have heard of the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – there is also a great deal of misunderstanding attached to these stages. As mentioned, there are no ‘normal’ methods to grieving and therefore, there is not one firm process by which a person should go about reacting to a loss.  Death is the first and final terror that we must face in our lives, and processing the loss of a loved one to that terror is a deeply unique, remorseful and personal affair. There may be those who prefer to bottle their grief and there may be others who need to talk in order to heal, but those who offer meaningless, hollow platitudes and step-by-step guides on how you should ‘get over it’ should be promptly ignored.