Dr Tracy Shaw

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Letter From SJ

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Dear Dr. Shaw:

My mother died three years ago and I’ve been having a difficult time dealing with her death. Everyone around tell me I should be over her death but it has been difficult. At time, I am unable to go to work or out of the house because I just can’t stop crying? What can I do?

Dear S.J.

Dealing with the loss of a love is probably one of the most challenging life task there is. Grief is the healing process we go through after experiencing the loss of a love. It’s important for all of us to learn about the stages of grief and learn how to move through the grief process.

The first stage of grief is denial. It’s difficult for us to acknowledge that someone dear to us is no longer going to be with us or around any more.
Anger is the second stage. Because we have no control over death and the loss of a love one, we response to the loss with anger. We may find ourselves lashing out at those around us or blaming ourselves for what has happen. The third stage is bargaining. We want to negotiate something we can to reverse the loss, saying things like “I do anything if this didn’t occurred”. Depression is the fourth stage. A feeling of sadness and despair about the loss is experienced. The fifth stage is acceptance. We accept the reality of the loss and we are able to move forward with our lives.

What must be recognized is that the grief process is not always a stepwise process. What I mean by this is that we do not experience loss in the same way. Therefore, someone might experience anger initially and then moved into a stage of denial. Also, for many of us we might circle back through some of the earlier stages of loss after reaching a point of acceptance of the loss.

It’s also important to note, that although we normally think of loss as the death of someone close to us, experiences such as the lose of a job, relationship, or divorce can bring about the grief process. How much time it takes to move through these stages depends on the nature if the loss, the individual who is grieving and the overall circumstances inn the individual life. If you’re finding yourself stuck in one stage and focusing on the loss too long it might be beneficial to speak with a professional counselor.
Dr. Shaw


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