Observed on August 30th, National Grief Awareness Day is devoted to spreading awareness on the varying ways a person can cope with the loss of a loved one. It also serves as a reminder to offer support to those suffering the effects of grief.
Here at Clearbrook, we recognize the drastic effect that grief can have on one’s sobriety and mental health journey. If you or someone you know is struggling to cope with a recent loss, our Massachusetts treatment center is equipped to offer the guidance you need. Read on to learn more about the concept of grief and ways you can provide support.
What Is Grief?
Grief is the term used to describe all the feelings associated with a loss. When someone displays an outward manifestation of those feelings, they are described as being in mourning. Another familiar term is bereavement. What does bereavement mean? It is the name of the time a person goes through whilst processing the loss.
These are all extremely sensitive periods for the affected. They are faced with the challenge of learning how to navigate life without the deceased. It is a process that requires the necessary support to be dealt with properly. How we understand grief has changed throughout history.
Then vs. Now
Grief awareness has adapted over time. The farther back we go, the less informed individuals were about how to properly process the death of a loved one. Additionally, death was a more common occurrence due to lack of medical knowledge, periods of war and conflict, and a general disregard for safety (at least compared to today’s standards.) The lack of grief awareness at the time can be attributed to the generational trauma of countless families and individuals.
With the resources now available, it is more important than ever to provide an optimal support system for someone in the middle of their bereavement.
The Stages of Grief
There are 5 recognized stages that a person typically experiences throughout the grieving process:
- Denial: The individual is unable to conceptualize that the person they care for is actually gone.
- Anger: Inevitably, reality will hit, and it can hit hard. This stage can find people becoming frustrated and even destructive if they do not possess the necessary coping mechanisms.
- Bargaining: At this point, a person has suffered so much that they would do anything to make it stop. This is typically seen through praying to a higher power.
- Depression: As the name suggests, this is the period when intense feelings of sadness will set in. The person’s eating and sleeping habits can be affected as well.
- Acceptance: The last stage sees acceptance of the loss, allowing for emotional mobility to begin moving forward.
The pace through which a person navigates these stages varies. Different forms of therapies will be necessary for different people, a variety of which are available at our Clearbrook Treatment Center.
What Can You Do?
Death and loss sadly wait for no one. How a person handles their grief can affect many other aspects of their mental health journey. On this National Grief Awareness Day, we challenge our readers to be conscious of opportunities to support a person in bereavement.