Psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross established the ‘Stages of Grief’ in which people dealt with the emotions that accompany the loss of a loved one. These stages do not occur in any particular order nor do they last a precise length of time. More so, each person processes and grieves differently.
The stages include:
- Denial (feelings of disbelief)
- Bargaining (thinking or offering trade-offs)
- Anger (placing blame or outrage)
- Depression (felling helpless or hopeless)
- Acceptance (ability to move forward)
It is important to have the opportunity to grieve the loss of a friend or loved one. It is also just as important for those around to help each other grieve. Many options have become available to help individuals through these times. Some have opted to participate in video groups (e.g., Zoom) instead of visitations/wakes (displaying a picture instead of a casket) or shiva (the Jewish period of mourning). Members of the clergy have been more than willing to help participate in services in these groups in order to help by adding a religious component for those in need.
If you are unable to participate in one of the traditional ceremonies, set a time to remember the person. You might look through pictures, listen to music, write a letter to the person who passed or their family conveying your thoughts or feelings, light a remembrance candle, write a message on a memorial site or just take a walk and process.
Consulting or talking to a professional counselor is an additional resource that can be beneficial. Telemental health services (secure telephone or video sessions and/or meetings) are available to individuals, families, or even groups. For more information on services available, feel free to contact any of the Coping Counselors at (516) 822-3131 or www.coping.com.