Grief Follows a Predictable Path

From WebMD:  “Grieving is the process of emotional and life adjustment you go through after a loss.”  It turns out that the loss does not necessarily have to be death.  People grieve the loss of major milestones in their lives, the loss of a treasured dream, a place, object, or a valued way of life (such as your job, marriage, or good health).

The process involves moving through steps and coming to terms with a major change in life.  And no matter what the change, the steps (from 5 – 10, depending on who’s counting) all include shock/denial, pain/guilt, anger/bargaining, reflection/reconstruction, and acceptance.

The grieving process can be long or short, linear or serpentine, smooth or fraught with pitfalls.  What is maddening is the constant contradiction: simultaneously paralyzing and frantically stimulating, quiet and loud, overwhelming and almost boring.  Lack of appetite and then eating to excess.  Time freezes and then surges ahead.  Grieving is a strange collection of foreign feelings – almost out of body, even.

But in the end there is almost always acceptance.  That, I believe, is the most extraordinary part.  A wonder of the gift of a functioning human mind.

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