“Loss is an intimate and integral part of life, so the process of grieving is also an inescapable part of life” Zunin and Zunin (P.10)
What is grief
Grief is a necessary experience. It is the beginning of the healing process and a translation of the body’s response to injury and its way to psyche healing at psychological levels. The trigger for grief is loss. The goal of grief is to help the body to re-establish balance and propagate the continuity of life. The grieving process is in three phases: (1) shock, numbness, and disbelief; (2) experiencing the pain; and (3) resolution and acceptance. When people grief they tend to assess their situation of loss and seek information to understand what they are going through; Here is a detailed discussion of the three phases of grief.
Shock, Numbness, And Disbelief
Most of the time it does not matter whether the loss was anticipated or not, shock is imminent. The bereaved may cry, scream, and become hysterical. Then into the ‘hour of lead’ characterized by a dive into disbelief and numbness. The bereaved may be in denial
It must be some mistake,” or “It’s just not true.” Zunnin and Zunnin (p.12)
The mind is unconsciously trying to prevent the overload of emotions. The bereaved must face the loss and gather their outer supports and inner resources. Numbness softens the sadness and tempers the chill to a point of endurance of feelings. The bereaved may seem to have acquired full emotional impact associated with loss cushioned. However, this may be followed by a roller coaster of emotions, thus allowing time to heal and talk is critical.
Experiencing The Pain
The second phase may creep in within hours to days after death. At this phase reality of loss starts to creep in and begins to manifest outside. Disbelief eventually gives way to belief and numbness allows true feelings. This progression pushes the bereaved towards reality accompanied by a painful sensation. Bottling up this emotion does not help as they only lead to a spill-over in disconcerting ways.
This second phase is associated with pinning and searching. Where the bereaved has a soulful and compelling long for the bereaved. While searching entails the powerful urge to find the lost love. Further, the bereaved may experience emotional swings, changes in behaviours, physical complaints, and thinking disturbance during this phase.
Resolution and Acceptance
While there is a tendency to often overlook this phase of the bereaved working through their sorrow, the human heart does not get logic. Every individual is unique, has diverse inner resources, and their rates of healing differ. Although most of the bereaved are likely to resume tier daily routine it takes longer for them to focus on the future and make peace with their past. One of the greatest barriers to healing in this phase is avoidance of disabling loneliness, object less rage, and baseless guilt. However, deep grief is universal and a great journey to the healing process. An indicator of the end of the road could be marked by the first laugh and the ultimate realization of the finality of loss.