5 Stages of Grief Coping with grief

Grieving, Is it Normal to Grieve for Years?

Saturday, January 16, 2016 Stella Quimby

Years, it has been 4 years since I lost my cousin, who at the time was 13 and then immediately one year after losing her we lost my Uncle. Major strikes against my family, it was devastating. Then like any normal family, we had to continue our everyday lives. But this morning after a intense Yoga session, my Yoga instructor's new wave hypnotic voice unlocked something in me that I haven't realized; I am still grieving.

My gorgeous cousin; just a ray of sunshine in everyone's life


Yes many of the everyday situations that years before would have stressed me out don't really bother me much now, I somehow have developed a writers block (like all the time), I haven't gone back to school to finish my DBA degree, and I have learned to block out my surroundings including when my minions (kids) have impromptu mortal kombat sessions in front of me. Are all these signs of grieving...still? According to the HelpGuide.Org, grieving doesn't have a time frame, not a year but sometimes many more years, it all depends on the person. There are also 5 stages of grief, which I personally believe that I went through, but apparently not. They are:

Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance


You also don't have to go through each stage in order, because I'm sure I haven't. So how does one try "recovering" or at least go through the acceptance stage where you are at peace/have accepted what has happened?

According to HelpGuide.Org, there are 2 steps to help you cope with grief and loss.

1st tip: Get Support
*Don't Grieve alone* Get help from family & friends or even see professional help.
Here is my fault. I felt like since she was my cousin and not my sister or daughter that I didn't have the right to grieve. I held it in and tried to help out everyone as much as I could with fundraisers and memory walks. Same with my Uncle's death, I was there to support others, but never asked for support back.

2nd tip: Take Care of Yourself
Physically and mentally take care of yourself. Remember that loved one wouldn't want you to join them too soon, so eat, shower, exercise, and continue to live. In the HelpGuide.Org they recommend facing your feelings, expressing your feelings in a tangible or creative way (try painting?), look after your physical health, Don't let anyone tell you how to feel and plan ahead for grief triggers such as holidays. I did take care of myself but I just went through it just to go through it I never faced my feelings.

I am lucky that I have a HUGE family and have great life-long friends, I have that support, I just have to ask. But if you don't have that support, ask someone who is close to you, that you can trust. Ask a professional, they are there to help you and help you to get on the road to recovery.

Losing someone is dramatic and tragic and can really hit you in the soul. The day I drove home after losing my cousin, I had an hour and a half drive home, I was bawling in the car just watching the cars around me in normal Chicago traffic wondering why they were not grieving too? An Angel just left this earth and no one realized it. I felt alone and was relieved that I made it home; it was hard to drive through all those tears. With my Uncle, he passed during his last vacation with his siblings and family. I was at home when I got the news.

My Uncle and Myself, years ago!! Look at that stud


Grieving is normal, facing it will help you get on the road to the last stage of the 5 stages of grief; acceptance. This yoga session really opened me up to see that I was still grieving for the both of them and was still hurting in a way that it was affecting my everyday life. But when does grieving for one get dangerous? HelpGuide.Org states that it is crucial to see a grief counselor when:

You start feeling like life isn't worth it, you rather be with your loved one
Wish you have died too
Blame yourself for the death
Feel numb and disconnect from from others (sounds familiar to me)
Have difficulty trusting others
Are unable to perform everyday activities

Please if you can connect with any of those actions seek professional help. That's why there are professionals out there to help people in pain learn to live again.


As for me, I now realized that I am still grieving and need to follow those 2 tips. Perhaps maybe I will start being myself again. It has been years but still feels like yesterday, and what they say about years numbing your pain, that's a lie. The years don't numb the pain because no matter how long ago it was, it still feels like yesterday. It's about keeping your loved ones in your heart and mind as you live your life. Because in the end, they want you to LIVE. Smile, love, and be happy. As for myself, I about to give those mortal kombat fighting minions a hug.

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