On Grief and Grieving
The five stages, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with
the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear time line in grief. Not
everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. Our hope is that with these stages comes the knowledge of grief ‘s terrain, making us
better equipped to cope with life and loss. At times, people in grief will often report more stages. Just remember your grief is an unique as you
Many of us deal with loss in our own way. When it comes to losing an individual that is a part of our life, the manner in which they passed is going
to determine our ability to cope with or to process that loss. If we know someone has a disease and the outcome is known, then we have the
opportunity to make peace with it and any unresolved issues can be dealt with, but when that loss is sudden it takes on a whole different set of
problems to overcome.
I tend to not use bargaining or become depressed, either. I generally go right to acceptance, regardless of the manner of passing. This is not
something that many are capable of. I try to offer words of wisdom to those that have a problem dealing with loss, but if they are determined to go
through the stages then it has to be at their own pace in their own terms.
There is another form of loss that has occurred and does not involve the passing of loved ones; there has been a loss of freedom we have been forced
to deal with. 9/11 was the beginning of the loss I am referring to.
We as a world were forced to deal with the loss of life that day. The stages of grief have been ongoing since, but not just for the loss of life, but
as I said above, the loss of freedom. Everyone has been going through these stages at their own pace and many have been stuck in various positions
for some time. Denial has been a major step to overcome for many. Anger still pushes many to act out. Bargaining has basically been ignored, no way
to bargain that day away. Depression has been rampant, for loss of life and freedom. Acceptance has not been found by my estimation in any
noticeable view. How can what happened that day be reconciled and accepted?
We as a world have not been able to put the events of that day behind us because the escalation of anger is keeping us from healing. To many answers
have been left for us to figure out to be able to accept the consequences. Depression is the norm for this world right now. The loss of freedom has
exacerbated the feelings of denial and we gave up the right to bargain in the process of searching for the culprits.
When loss is individual there is a much better chance of getting to the acceptance, but when it is a worldwide epidemic, where everyone is processing
grief at their own pace, in their own way, the ability to confront the anger and depression sensibly goes out the window. I do not know how to change
your way of dealing with loss and I am fearful that the only way the world gets passed this will be to self implode, first, and from the ashes a
Phoenix will rise to usher in a new beginning that alleviates the anger and gives us the ability to accept once and for all that we are bound together
and the actions of few have severe consequences on us all.
The 5 stages of grief do not always happen in the same order for everyone either. Some people skip steps or ignore them altogether. I can only speak
from my own experiences about this matter with specific anecdotes about the loss of those close to me over the years, but being an observer of human
behavior does allow me to at least see from my perspective how others do and have reacted to the same situations at the same time concerning the same
First, let me clarify something for those of you reading this, I do not believe death is the end, nor do I really believe in the "normalcy" of the
word death, that is why my way of dealing with loss is vastly different from say, those of my immediate family or friends. I can appear to be aloof
about it to others because I refuse to mourn or cry tears of sadness when there is a member of my family that moves on. I choose to focus on the
happiness I feel for them having the next step. Anger serves no purpose for dealing with this, but it is a mechanism that often plays a role in
coping for many, just not me.