Healthy grief is essential for a number of reasons. Whether one is distressed by losing a close person and bewildered by strong feelings and crazy symptoms, he or she may be wondering if surviving the situation is possible or tied of being in the emotional and complicated situation when the only help comes from healthy grief. Healthy grief is vital to help people cope with whatever grief they have. Sad moments are bound to occur in our lives and humans can never be joyous all the time. Healthy grief, achieved by five stages of grief is to enable an individual to cope with sad moments and not to resolve an occurrence (Shelton, 2009). The stages help in identifying and framing the feelings one might have at a given time. The phases are not experienced by everyone and the prescribed order must not be followed exactly. However, the ultimate result after experiencing the stages is the knowledge of the terrain of grief. Knowing and understanding the terrain enables humans to cope with future life experiences, particularly in relation to dealing with loss and any form of grief (Kubler-Ross, 1997).
Denial is the first stage of grief that helps in surviving the loss. Here, one may feel overwhelmed, and everything seems meaningless, including life itself. A grieving person is in a state of denial and shock, feeling numb is often experienced by some. Shock coupled with denial helps in coping with life and making survival possible through pacing feelings of grief. At this stage one is expected to begin the healing process by accepting the reality of grieving (Dunne, 2004). Strength is being gained slowly, and denial is fades gradually.
Anger is the stage necessary to control grief. Anger must always be felt and in some instances may seem endless. The more one feels the anger, the more it dissipates and ultimately leads to healing. This is the point one may begin questioning a lot of things, for instance, the existence of God. This feeling is extensive and can affect a lot of people, for instance, family and friends. Pain is part of this stage, but later comes strength. At first, one feels lost and having no connection, but with controlled grief, the anger turns into a bridge connecting one and another (Berns, 2012). Connection is a form of strength, making one feel better than before; anger is often an indication of the intensity of love one possesses.
Bargaining involves asking for the undoing of sad situation. In most cases people ask God to bring a loved one back to life. Bargaining on what to do after the grief took place, so that things may go back to normalcy is always seen in many people. Bargaining is often accompanied by guilt and such statements as ‘if only’ and ‘what if’ (Shelton, 2009). Negotiating the ways out of pain and sadness are helpful in healing from grief.
After bargaining people tend to concentrate entirely on the present. Some people may get healed after bargaining. However, some are bound to experience the feeling of emptiness where the grief portrays itself at deeper levels. The depression stage may seem to last forever because of its seriousness and deepness. It involves withdrawal from life and intense sorrow and wonder. It is always considered a proper response for grief due to loss and inability to experience grief. The realization of a loved one not coming back is depressing and healthy grief must, therefore, entail this stage (Leggett, 2010).
The last stage is acceptance of the reality that the loved one has gone and is never coming back. The stage does not, however, mean that one is okay with the situation. Accepting that the loved one is permanently gone is essential in healing from grief. Learning to live with reality is part of the acceptance. Initially, most people try to maintain their lives as they were before the loved one passed (Kubler-Ross, 1997). With time, one is forced to readjust to the situation through recognition of roles and reassigning roles to others.
Job experienced grief after the loss of everything he owned. All his children died, except for his wife. Thus, grief may be considered a natural response to substantial life losses. Job believed that he was righteous and did not expect calamity to befall him. However, the loss of his entire property and children made him live in denial. He began blaming God, and at one point he thought that God did not exist. Job bargained and negotiated with God through his grieving process. He believed that if he had kept a close eye on his children, the calamity would not have befallen his entire household (Berns, 2012). A wish to go back in time was in Job’s mind. He was not prepared for the grief that affected him and his wife; it came as shock which was coupled with denial. Job tore his mantle, cleared his head and fell on the ground in grief. Depression in Job’s situation is portrayed when his friend Bildad assumed that he had done something wrong, particularly in the sight of God. Bildad believed that awful things happen to evil people, meaning that Job had done something out of the norm. This made Job to be depressed. Zophar, another friend of Job, urged him to accept the calamity as everyone sins and thus, terrible things happen to everyone. It was, therefore, only logical for Job to accept the situation in the way it was and he moved on with life. The situation made Job curse the day he was born, which showed the anger he felt in his grieving process (Shelton, 2009). He saw life as not worth living anymore and considered death to be much easier than the grief he was experiencing. His anger was particularly directed to God, since he believed that the suffering and calamity was His doing.
Hindus lose their loved ones, and grieving process may seem shorter than normal. However, the process needs not to be longer, and in minutes one can heal from any grief he or she is experiencing. Hindus cremate the bodies the same day people die, provided the sun does not go down before the ritual (Dunne, 2004). They have a grieving leader who may not necessarily apply the grieving process.
Grieving process is not meant to pressure people to forget the past, find closure and continue with life, but a foundation to find new joy. Sharing the painful stories is vital for healing, crying and remembering bring comfort. Grief is significant and it is hard to get over it. However, carrying it and integrating it into life is possible. The ultimate result is hope, joy and love that make people stronger after experiencing the grieving process. Therefore, grieving to me is an individual’s decision and it is extremely healthy.