All lives matter, every life matters. That is why grief takes place after the loss of someone, but it is the shame of grieving that deepens the wounds of a person.
Abstract: Grief is a state of mind that cannot be avoided. It must happen as it is a way for people to figure out life after death. Positive, it can be different from one person to another, its stages are not a defined and predictable process for everyone but as mentioned before it is not a choice to make or a decision to take. The most lethal feeling that comes with grief is shame, it is so disabling and destructive.
There is as well the fear of not being strong enough to deal with the pain of grief. When someone’s life has been torn apart, the potential for humiliation is expanded to infinity. Hence the shame of grieving can build on layers and layers of poisonous feelings to an already tormented grieving soul. As everyone has their share of being judged unfairly, grieving persons do too. The fear of judgement will make them wonder what people would think of them; whether their process of grieving is taking too much, or it is not enough. This feature can exhaust their psychology because self judgement cannot be seen it haunts the mourner discreetly. It is a silent killer and shame can be sometimes self-harming.
Introduction: Grief is a weighty issue except it is not very common to deliberate over it. People are not open to discuss it or even if they do, they don’t express their feelings explicitly. As a matter of fact, grief is a very natural emotion, it is a part of humanity. As natural as it is, it can get tremendously complicated. That’s the entire point: fighting to stay alive while experiencing all forms of sadness, sorrow and fear. Yet all these feelings are not allowed to come out willingly according to some people.
Any person grieving a loss should hide it, push their chins up and move on quietly until they become masters of disguise. This feature hinders the mind’s development properly, and we treat it as if it doesn’t exist. It is important not to let shame interfere with grief. therefore, we become our own barrier from healing. Grief and shame are a very powerful and toxic combination owing to the fact that shame makes grief look like a sin. Therefore, facing grief and dealing with it is the principal key to overcome the wave of emotions that hits the psychology in a hostile way.
1st paragraph stages of grief: grief is a frame of mind that all humans may have in common. Generally, there is a process experienced to go through this period. The best model that can explain this process is Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ model “The Five Stages of Grief”. She is the author of the book “On Death and Dying”, where she first talked through her theory of the five stages of grief. This model lays the groundwork for an examination of the outcomes of grief. She stated that “Any natural, normal human being, when faced with any kind of loss, will go from shock all the way through acceptance” .When analyzing it, she considered grief as a change. According to her everyone has their proper way of changing therefore grief can look different on every single person.
The first stage is denial. One might ask why do someone deny the loss of a loved person? It is because humans take life for granted, they never think that there is an end to everything. The sudden death of a loved one makes the grieving person go through some sort of confusion and shock and that’s what builds the stage of denial. This stage is like a defense mechanism that the brain develops to protect itself because to take all this reality all at once would be so intense and devastating. so, to minimize the damage of death, the brain needs to go through denial and that’s when the mourner would be like “this Can’t be happening” or “why did the person that I loved the most had to go away?”.
The second stage is anger. Denial turns into anger, they will get angry at themselves because they didn’t get to spend more time with the gone person, at god for taking from them who they cherished the most so early, at their loved one for leaving them alone in this crucial world, at any person who survived an accident when the deceased one didn’t. This phase happens when the brain can’t control all the emotions such as numbness, disbelief, melancholy and despair. It will be impossible for the brain to take in these feelings all at once because they can make the grieving person go mad and mess up with their head. In this case the brain will transform these feelings into anger which is the most powerful emotion that will overwhelm all the others and keep the sanity of the griever.
Following these two stages comes the stage of bargaining. It is when the weeper wants their old lives back when the deceased one was alive frantically. They strive to negotiate a compromise with whoever they believe in just to make their lives like what they used to be. They will beg and plead. They will offer their souls in exchange for just one more day with their loved ones. This stage occurs when the pallbearer thinks of bereavement as a final solution to end their suffering when it is a sustainable one. The ignore the fact that nobody and nothing can bring back what they have lost. In view of the fact that they will be living in a fictive world, delaying the present and looking for peace in the past.
The fourth stage is depression. It comes off when the griever thinks that there is no point of living after the departure of the deceased one. They will hold in all their sorrow and sadness and grieve alone. According to Elizabeth ross it is the darkest stage of grief, it is when the mourner becomes fully aware that it really happened, that they lost a soulmate and they can do nothing to bring them back. Why is depression dangerous? Because it is not a healthy feeling like sadness it is the state of losing control over one’s thoughts. The mourner will feel deserted and empty even the things that made them laugh once are now meaningless.
They will lose their passions, interests and creativity. They will think of the joy of living as cheating because the person they have lost will not get to experience it with them. They will isolate themselves to mourn the loss of a life; honor all the memories and cry to death because such feelings are hard to get out of one’s brain. The depression is the key to survive though, it is when the griever hurts so much and can’t breathe from the intense sorrow at a final level, they will remember that they are alive. They will understand that there is no point of depression and it will not change a thing if they don’t have the will to change themselves. That’s when the grieving person will move from depression to the last stage.
The final stage is acceptance. It is when the griever moves on to the healing process. It doesn’t mean that they will forget about their loss, but they will come to terms with it. It is more like “I will keep on living for them to make them proud”. the will be living one life for the two. This quote gives the rundown of acceptance “The life of the dead is placed on the memories of the living. The love you gave in life keeps people alive beyond their time. Anyone who was given love will always live on in another’s heart.”― Marcus Tullius Cicero
When going through the stage of acceptance, according to Ross, the grieving person finds peace. They go back their normal life before all the trauma that they have lived. They will fall back into their old routines. They will see the world with a new view after all what happened to them; they will not take life for granted and live everyday of their lives like it is the last day contrarily to what they were used to before. This stage of grief is like refreshing the mourner’s soul and giving them a new chance to start from zero. Except there is a bitter experience that follows the journey of the mourner; the moment they think that they are over it, that everything is okay now all the sorrow comes back and haunts them but with less intensity than before. They will now how to control the pain and make it vanish away slowly.
Ross’s five stages of a grief are important to cope with grief. Although according to some researchers this model is nothing but a myth. It is not a rule that can be applied to everyone. It is like a convention for grief such as wearing black clothes and abandoning specific activities “honoring” the loss of someone.
When facing adversity, human beings tend to react differently Just like in the case of coping with grief. Except there is a common feeling that comes along with grief; which is shame. It is the shame that the grieving person experiences when they think they are showing so many feelings or not being strong enough to deal with the loss of someone.
Why does grief trigger shame? While grieving the mourner will of think that they are less of a person as god chose them to suffer when there is plenty of people around them. They would feel guilty and shameful and take on the full responsibility for what happened to their deceased ones. They will blame themselves for everything that have happened, they will think even at the smallest details and the “what ifs” will kill them without mercy.
For instance, if they have lost someone because of an illness they would hold themselves accountable for that. Did they go to the best doctors? was that treatment the right one? what would have happened if they have contacted another specialist? And the list goes on and on. They would feel guilty for what they did and what they didn’t. That is when the guilt will be mixed with shame. The shame will make them feel disgusted from themselves because they didn’t try harder. This roller-coaster of emotions can be very toxic for their psychology.
Shame makes people think that they don’t have the right to grief the way they want. As a matter of fact, grief cannot be controlled but shame makes the griever want to manipulate it. It makes them ignore the fact that they lost a soul, they will force themselves to act as if nothing has happened. When analyzing this flow of emotions one can find out that the source of shame is not the griever, but it is the society. The modern society is well known to be dynamic but stable at the same time.
When people realize that someone is hurting inside from a loss or from anything else, they would tell them “oh you don’t get to grieve like that or cry like that “they think that depressing over the loss of someone is just a way to seek attention. they just want to manipulate the mourner and make them act as they please. It doesn’t help a grieving person when someone tells them that it was god’s plan or the deceased one is not suffering anymore now at a better place. Those ideas can mess up their minds make them feel like they have got no right to mourn, that it is normal to lose someone when it is not.
Why do people opt all the time for the judgement and the bruising remarks? Instead of making grieving persons feel safe and not lonely they would make them feel shameful. It is a must for them to stand by the mourner and help them through this painful journey. The most important thing is to make the griever know that they are not here to judge or to blame. Although there is absolutely no one that can set free all the guilt, shame and sorrow that a grieving person holds but showing them care will help them survive.
It is true that the only thing that all humans may have in common when it comes to grief is that it is a personal experience meaning that no one can understand what the griever is going through. Except shame finds its way through the loneliness of the grieving person and it eats them alive. Even when people around them don’t judge them they would think they do. that is why it is important to talk to them, listen to them and do everything possible to make them feel that they are not being judged for their actions. Therefore, the pallbearer will find people who support them, they will not fall into depression easily.
Grief is a complex emotion. There is no “practice makes perfect”. Everything that a griever does without their lost one will make them feel guilty and shameful. Even when they lean on their friends for emotional help or when someone offers them support. They will think that they are a pity or a charity case. They will feel like a burden for others and will try to hide their weaknesses and loneliness.
One may wonder how are they supposed to treat a griever? If they leave them to grieve in peace individually, they will fall into depression. That is when the suicidal thoughts, the anxiety and panic attacks come together to ruin the griever’s life. When left without any emotional support the shame and guilt will eat the mourner alive. If they stand by them and try to show them care and support, they will feel judged for every action they do. They will think that they only matter to other people because they are going through a bad period. That is what will make them feel vulnerable and worthless.
As tragic as it can get death is a natural part of life consequently grief is considered natural too. There is no escaping from grief and bereavement after the loss of someone. The death of someone that once were important to the griever can devastate them for the rest of their lives. Through the period of grieving the mourners can go through a rollercoaster of emotions like depression, sorrow, guilt and shame.
Some of them may pass that period with a minimum of damages while other can get badly bruised. While grieving the pallbearer can go through a flow of emotions; from crying to laughing hysterically or from blaming themselves to acting like nothing have happened. Such experiences are venomous and can harm their mental health smoothly. In this case the grieving persons are in need of special care in order not to hit them hard or trouble them. Especially when the grief takes action with the shame
That is why studying the aspects of grief is an important matter as grief is not studied
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