The fourth stage of grief…
Depression is a word that is used a great deal in society and is often associated with feelings and fears, a hugely negative life experience that we would try to avoid at all costs! However, it is a stage of grief, and so in actual fact, it is impossible for any of us to go through life without losing anyone, so I guess that means we will all experience depression (in varying degrees), at some point in our lives. The good news is, that if we are experiencing ‘depression’ during our grief that indicates that we are getting closer to acceptance. This will then eventually bring some relief from our overwhelming feelings, as the depression is in fact showing a certain level of acceptance already. This said, it is likely that at this stage you are still investing a great deal of emotional attachment in your grieving process, which is important.
How would I know if I am in this stage?
The kind of emotions we may be feeling here would be sadness, fear, uncertainty, reflecting on all of the ‘what if’s’ and the, ‘if only’. You may be thinking thoughts such as, ‘What is the point to life without them?’ ‘I am not sure I can go on like this’.
You might find that it is at this stage that you want to hide away from everyone, reject visitors and try and spend more time alone, maybe you are crying more. No matter how overwhelming this can be, do not try and stop yourself from grieving at this stage, accept love and support from others when you can but it is also important that you do allow these feelings to be processed, do lots of crying, so that you can progress on to the next stage which is acceptance.
Mourning our loved ones can bring two types of depression…
There is a side of the grief that is about letting go of your loved ones, and saying your final goodbyes, separating from them. This is where the support from your friends and family is essential; ensuring you still feel cared for and loved by others around you.
The other part to the depression is often the issues that we face initially in times of death, the more practical elements related to the loss. You may be thinking about how you will ever pay for the funeral? You may worry about how you will manage the family finances and ensure the bills are still paid every month? The best way of dealing with these issues is by getting clarification of how you will manage these issues, ideally in advance of a death, and also seek reassurance wherever possible. This could be done in a number of ways; Use your support network that you have in place. Make sure you understand your finances; what would happen if there were an unexpected tragic death in the family? Do not leave your future to chance, give yourself the opportunity to grieve and deal with the emotional aspects of letting go, avoid becoming stuck due to the practicalities involved with loss.
"Please note that this blog post was provided by Healthy Minds and although based on real people, different names have been used, where requested, by those sharing their stories."