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The Stages Of Grief In Different Life Experiences

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Grief is an expected intense sadness and misery in response to the death of a loved one, so the statement ‘Grief is a sign of weakness’ is one we disagree on. The passing of a person brings out emotions it is inevitable and affects all of us (part of human life). There is more to grief than just the internal feelings, there is spiritual, physical and social experiences.

Grief is a topic that is hardly spoken about in numerous homes, even though it is an important topic in our lives. It can occur in situations such as a job loss or a divorce. Grief is one of the most traumatic experiences. The experience of loss is shocking and it needs a process of grieving. When the death of someone is not accompanied with a process that allows us to express our feelings of despair and vulnerability, these emotions can be supressed. They can come back to us if we don’t find a way to acknowledge the loss that has taken place.

In this proposition we will discuss that people differ in their experiences of life and therefore they differ in their experience of death. The argument will be discussed reinforcing our position which is against the topic and the counter argument will also be discussed. The proposition contains points such as the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and receiving) which are necessary to release the tension and give closure (Louw & Louw, 2019:475). According to Kubler-Ross(1978) They don’t always occur in the same sequence. We will look how people differ in their experience of death.

Argument

Grief also known as bereavement is a way different people express their feelings to the loss they have suffered. Loneliness and depression are a normal part of the process of healing, not a sign of weakness. Grief is a naturally occurring emotion that affects almost every human being who has lost a loved one. In the process of healing, individuals are likely to develop continuing bonds. Continuing bonds are attachments maintained rather than relinquished, (Worden, 2018). In case of a widow or widower, it helps them keep healthy while still attached to the deceased. Continuing bonds contribute to positive mental health and lifestyle. It not having attachment issues but a way in which an individual can be able to come to terms of accepting the passing of a loved one. When my mother passed away, for a while I suppressed my thoughts hoping I would wake up from the dream but eventually I started accepting and keeping her as my imaginary friend and guardian angel.

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Grief is a healing process which has stages, which you may encounter in any order and any number of times, (Buckley D). Kubler-Ross initially wrote up the different stages of grief, paying most of her attention on the negative emotions that people suffering from terminal illness go through before facing their final breath. There are five stages in all namely, Denial and isolation, rage, Bargaining, misery and acceptance. Grief is not a sign of weakness because when I was about to complete my 1st year of University, my mother passed away due to cancer she had been battling with for years. Grief is a universal experience, just like everyone who grieves, I did not see myself as weak but strong enough to face it.

Studies have shown that grief is part of nature that comes from a biological, cultural and psychological perspective, (Parkes & Prigerson , 2013). Grief does not have colour, age or gender. There are multiple types of grief such as absent grief, chronic grief and anticipatory grief. The disadvantage if grief is when one experiences chronic grief, an individual fall into depression and no longer functions in a normal way. Grief brings family and friends together who then offer support throughout the process. “Lean on me when you are not strong because we all need somebody to lean on, I will carry you always” is a song which means we find strength and healing when someone helps us carry the load and it becomes easier. In my personal experience, a support system helps the process of healing becomes effortless and easy rather than hard.

Counter Argument

As natural and as universal as grief can be, it also has its disadvantages. Not only can it have a negative impact on our physical wellbeing, but it can also negatively affect our mental health. As described in EveryDay Health, one of the most common early symptoms of grief is extreme tiredness, resulting in everyday tasks becoming too difficult to carry out (Dr. Sanjay Gupta). I have witnessed this for myself. A lady that had been working at a hardware store for the past ten or so years recently got fired. She did not take this loss very well, and in a short period of time she fell into a severe state of depression. She would isolate herself from everyone else, and sometimes she would refuse to eat. The after-effects were so bad that about two weeks later she suffered a terrible stroke that has now left her paralysed and unable to talk. As mentioned before, this is a great example of chronic grief. To support this example, EveryDay Health also mentions the fact that the emotional impact of grief is often described as “heartache” or “heartbreak”. As a result of increased stress during the bereavement stage, high amounts of the stress hormone are released which can then trigger heart problems. Grief also puts a huge strain on the body, with the heart being the most common target. GoodTherapy talks about how the loss of a loved one can increase a person’s chance of a heart attack, or the development of a broken heart syndrome. Grief can also lower a person’s immunity, making them vulnerable to infections, the flu and other diseases.

Having gone through the grieving process myself, I would have to agree with some of the points mentioned above. Not everyone who succumbs to grief will successfully finish grieving. Sometimes the number of negative events occurring right after one’s loss can trigger a more painful effect, hampering one’s progress to a healthier lifestyle. this may force a person into a horrible cycle of grief which could turn short term symptoms into more serious ones. Yes, grief can be particularly harmful, but this doesn’t mean that it is unmanageable. GoodTherapy states that building a healthy routine can be a step towards eliminating chronic grief. This means that old habits such as smoking and drinking would have to be replaced with a nutritious diet that can alleviate problems such as heart risks, digestive issues and sleep patterns. Exposure to mental health professionals, friends and family members, mental health awareness campaigns and initiatives, as well as books and other materials focusing on mental and physical health can also be helpful in avoiding the cycle of grief. A person can take control of their own lives and ultimately avoid the cycle of grief. Grief is a natural and healthy response to a certain kind of loss. It is something that many people have to go through, as stated in the Kubler-Ross stages of grief, in order to work their way out of the initial shock and pain of loss.

Conclusion

Its brought to our attention that people differ in their experience of the loss of a loved one. The argument states that grief is not a sign of weakness, but it is something that can make you even stronger and find peace. The attachment theory explains how people have different bonds to different people and so the difference in the intensity of your your grief does not make you weaker or stronger. The actuality that grief has a negative impact on your overall health should not destroy you as a person and make you feel weak it is a necessary procedure to regain your strength and move forward.

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The Stages Of Grief In Different Life Experiences. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-stages-of-grief-in-different-life-experiences/
“The Stages Of Grief In Different Life Experiences.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-stages-of-grief-in-different-life-experiences/
The Stages Of Grief In Different Life Experiences. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-stages-of-grief-in-different-life-experiences/> [Accessed 30 Jan. 2023].
The Stages Of Grief In Different Life Experiences [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-stages-of-grief-in-different-life-experiences/
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