Many consider emotional release the 2nd phase of bereavement. The shock that comes with the death of a loved one begins to wear off and raw feelings emerge. The death of our loved one begins to sink in.
This is probably the most recognized step in the grief process. A person can feel acute anguish and other emotions such as anger, fear, or guilt. We might experience these all at once or in no particular order.
Sometimes we wonder if we are going crazy. Absolutely not!! Try to remember these are natural reactions. Even if it feels scary we must permit ourselves to feel what we feel. We need to allow ourselves the time to do the grief work.
It hurts to lose someone we love.
It is okay to cry, even good. It can help relieve pent up stress. We don’t need to feel uncomfortable with this natural event.
Even Jesus wept.
It is part of the grieving process that most men and women need to go through. Men especially might find it hard to cry. Our culture tends to make them feel weak if they weep over losing someone.
Some people who don’t allow themselves to cry can get stuck in this cycle of bereavement. This can slow their own grief journey.
When you are in this stage it is very possible that you will be bothered by what others say to you. We all can become awkward when trying to comfort someone. Try to remember that they mean well even if their words do not bring you any comfort. It is their attempt to show they love you.
Again there is no set time frame in the grief process, don’t get hung up on how fast or slow you go through this.
My own grief journey didn’t seem to fit neatly into these patterns. Because I grieved for the loss of the man I married to mental illness before his death ever occurred. So I guess you could say that I went through the process two times. I lost him twice – 1st to mental illness – 2nd to death.
Please don’t compare yourself to anyone else. No one has experienced exactly what you are going through. Every single person is different. But at one time or another in our lives we will all experience sorrow.
Granger Westberg says it well in his bookGood Grief
“Suffering is not good, but you need not be devastated by it. Ultimately we can be healed of our bitterness and move ahead.”
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