Coping With Grief and Loss, Essay Example

There are a number of individuals who are not cognizant of the right methods of how to deal with suffering once it shows its face upon their threshold. The result of this can sometimes be even more suffering. For example, say ones parents were killed by a serial killer. The parents son, if he did not know any better, would attempt to get the serial killer by any means necessary. Ultimately, this would end up in even more individuals injuring themselves and possibly death. Therefore, the reason as to why it is so imperative that individuals are always aware of the correct methods of coping with difficult situations is so that they are able to remain cool, even when confronted with the toughest tribulations in their own respective lives.

There are a number theories that are presented in the book “Death Society and Human Experience. What is most admirable about this book is the manner in which it is able to instruct individuals on how to deal with the hardest situations that they might be dealing with. More than often, the toughest situation that one must go through is having to deal with the death of a loved one. When this happens, there are usually five steps that an ordinary person would go through: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. While each steps stands for something that a specific person is going through at a certain time in their lives, some individuals do not necessarily go through these five steps.

The first, denial, is ever so common. This usually takes place immediately after an individual is told bad news. If, for example, an individual was told that his mother had just passed away, this individual would invariably deny it because of the manner in which he would not want to believe that. Despite the fact that the individuals subconscious would be telling him or her that his or her mother is in all actuality dead, the individual would keep denying it. This is because many individuals initially think that if they deny something long enough, then it must not be real. Essentially, what is being done when this type of mentality is adopted is that individuals are trying to trick their mind into believing something that is not real. Although rare, there are some individuals who remain at this stage for the rest of their lives. In the example presented, this would mean that the individual would spend the rest of his or her life believing that his or her mother is alive somewhere. It goes without saying that this type of mentality is extremely dangerous to the individual, given that he or she might at times need psychotherapy.

The second stage of grief, anger, is not always presented. Going back to the example that was presented, the individual would most probably only be angry that his or her mother passed away if it were due to a tragic event, such as a murdering. In this scenario, then the individual would unquestionably be angry with the individual who murdered his or her mother. A common trend that has been noticed throughout the years as well is the fact that religious individuals often blame their gods for the taking of life. Despite the fact that these are not the only considerations that might make an individual angry over the death of someone, they are the most common.

The third, bargaining, is a pivotal point in the five stages of grief. This is the point in which the individual realizes what actually happened and he or she truly believes what has happened. This is often where an individual tries to make amends with what has happened by attempting to make things right. He or she is often seen trying to make up for what happened. While this is not always the case, if an individual were to feel guilty about something, this would be the point in which he or she would try to get rid of that guilt by trying to make up for his or her actions. Clearly, bargaining would not work in the case of someone dying, given that there is no manner in which to justify a death. However, in smaller-case scenarios, it has been known that individuals would be willing to go to far lengths in order to justify their actions.

Bargaining leads to depression, the fourth stage. After the individual realizes what has happened and the fact that there is no manner by which the individual can make things right again, he or she might go into depression. There are many levels of depression. Some individuals do not have a big case of depression while others do. Those with extenuating depression are often admitted in clinics where the individual cannot cause self-harm. While no individual reacts in the same manner to the number of circumstances that are presented to him or her throughout his or her lifetime, it has been known that a number of depressed individuals at some point in their lives attempt suicide. This is done because of the idea that they would much rather die than live on the earth knowing what they have done. However, even if they have not done anything, much like the example presented before where the individuals mother was murdered, depression may still be present. The mothers son might, in fact, be so sad about what happened to his or her mother that he or she would rather leave the face of the earth than keep living without her in his or her everyday life. Despite the fact that suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem, numerous individuals do not have this perspective for themselves.

The fifth and final stage of grief is acceptance, given that the individual makes it this far. The reason this is said as such is because of the manner in which there are so many individual who get stuck in the previous stages of grief. More than often, it takes years and at times decades for an individual to find peace with the actions that has evolved throughout his or her life. Therefore, this is saying that there are many who are never able to bring themselves out of denial or even depression. The fact that there are individuals who get stuck at the first stage of grief is ultimately sad. Grief has been known to ruin peoples lives, and the longer one holds on to a specific grief, the more probably it is that individual will not make it out of the five stages of grief. What is great about the final stage, acceptance, is that this is the point in the grieving process where the individual finally accepts everything that has happened to him or her. Now, this is not to say that the individual is content with the end result of the what happened, but it is to say that the individual has come to embrace the fact that what happened was a tragedy but that it is time to move on.

Something that must be duly noted is the fact that not every single individual goes through the five stages of grief. There are some individuals who skip the first four stages and go right into acceptance. While this is not common (given that emotions often times interfere with individuals reactions), it does happen. In a similar manner, there are those who jump right from denial to depression. This is often the saddest outcome, given that the individuals family members must be spectators to the individual not getting any better after the misfortune that took place.

While I cannot say that I have ever gone through the five stages of grief, there have been adverse times in my life in which I have had to refer to at least one or two of the stages. Despite the fact that there have been no death-related misfortunes in my life thus far, I would be lying if I said that my life has always been perfect. There have been numerous instances in my life where I have had to deal with misfortunes and still put a brave face on. An important aspect that I have discovered throughout the course of my life is that it is alway best to forgive and forget. What I mean by this is that, while it is okay to grieve and mourn over great tribulations, one should always put in ones best efforts into achieving the fifth stage of grief, acceptance. I have found that this is without a doubt the most useful tool in being able to get over something tragic that has happened because of the manner in which it teaches that everything will be okay. When the most difficult times have been presented to me, I have learned to try my best to avoid the other stages of grief and go straight into acceptance.

 Now, this is not to say that I will accept any misfortune that happens to me, but I do find it a necessity to always accept what happened unfolded before me. The reason as to why I find this imperative is because when one does not come forth and come to terms with the bad things that have happened, this is the point where one eventually becomes depressed. While I did say that I have not had much misfortunes in terms of family deaths, I have certainly failed before. When I did not get into many of the schools I hoped to get into, when I did not get my coveted job, when I was not able to get the girl of my dreams at the times; all of those have been characterized as failures. While some individual would have let those failures in their lives stop them, I have always made it a point to keep moving forward, no matter what happens.

 The reason I so strongly believe in this is because I know that when I stop and take a break to look at all my past failures, they will be overwhelming. Therefore, I have become cognizant of the actuality that is okay to fail sometimes, because only through failure can one truly learn to appreciate success. What I mean by this is that if a person would always achieve success in every single thing that he or she does and then failed in one simple task years later, this individual would most probably not know how to correctly deal with the circumstances at hand. Since the individual would be so used to winning in everything that he or she has done throughout the course of his or her life, failure would definitely not be something that he or she is used to. Failure for that specific person would mean that he or she is no longer good enough for what life asks for. Therefore, I have made it a point in my life to always immediately come to terms with what has happened and put in my best efforts into bringing peace into my life every single day.

 My interests in issues of grief and loss are vast. I have always had an intriguing side of me that makes the most profound questions about how to be able to help individual when they are dealing with the most difficult things in their life. Invariably, this course has been able to teach me everything that I expected to learn and them some. My personal interests for this course was simply to fulfill my intuitive side of me which always begs for knowledge. I was clearly able to fulfill this objective, given that I was always able to keep my eyes on the prize; the price being knowledge. Before taking this specific course, I had my doubts of whether I would truly learn something worthwhile. Furthermore, I had my doubts of whether what I learned in the course would allow me to help individuals in their everyday lives.

 I am proud to say that I have been able to achieve and surpass every single goal that I have set for myself in this course. Of course, it took long hours of studying and sleepless nights to get to this point, but as the course comes to a conclusion, I cannot say that I have never been happier. I am sure of the fact that what I was able to acquire from this course will help me lead a successful life in helping other individual who need assistance in their everyday lives. I now know that whatever I dedicate my life to, I will be successful because of the manner in which it is intrinsically in me to want to lend a hand to all those who require it.

 My personal style of dealing with loss has been changed throughout the years. The reason this has happened is because of my upbringing and all of the environmental factors that played a role into developing me into the kind of individual that I am today. I was privileged enough to be born into a loving family who always put in their best efforts to provide for everything that I needed and everything that I wanted. Despite the fact that I was not able to get all of the toys that I wanted when I was a little kid, I was certainly grown into a caring family who always wanted what was best for me, despite my bad behavior. Because of this, I believe that my family has played the greatest influence on me in terms of learning how to deal with grief.          

 My parents always taught me that every single little thing happens for a reason, whether good or bad. At the time, I only took those words at face-value, but now that I have become more mature and grown into a much more knowledgeable human being, I know exactly what my parents meant by these words. I was born and raised in Sichuan, China. The year of 2008, a great conflict confronted this city: an earthquake. The Great Sichuan Earthquake, as it is often times referred to, affected all of the individuals that I had ever known in my life. Thankfully, I had only a few scratches after the earthquake, but the same could not be said about many of the individuals I had known throughout the course of my life. I was fortunate enough to not have anyone close to me die due to the earthquake, but others were not so lucky.

 Not long after the earthquake, I found myself going out into the streets each and every day and trying to help those who needed assistance. Given the fact that the earthquakes was of a 8.0 magnitude on the Richter scale, it goes without saying that the city appeared as if a bulldozer had destroyed everything over-night. This came as a great misfortune, immediately killing off about 70,000 individuals. Even months after the earthquake, the aftermath was still extremely visible. I later found a deep hold in my hole knowing that I would not be able to improve the lives of everyone who had suffered that dreadful day. My parents, seeing as how I was using depression as my coping mechanism, called me into their room. Once inside, they started giving me their speech about how everything happens for a reason. As I confronted them and interrogated them on how this could have happened for a good reason, they told me that it happened so that I could learn to love my neighbors and develop a loving relationship for even those people who I did not know. In my opinion, this was the pivotal point in my life where I was able to learn that acceptance is a much better coping mechanism than depression. From that day on, I have always made it a point to accept the tragic events that unfold throughout my eyes in the course of my life and put in my best efforts afterwards at improving the situation that is being presented in whatever way I can.

 Because of the manner in which I grew up, I have no value-oriented or ethical conflicts when attempting to help people. I will always go out of my way to help someone who might need assistance. I do this because I know that if I am not the person to help that certain individual at that specific time, then who will? I have made it a great point in my life to always give back to the community that has formulated me into the kind of person that I am today. I have realized throughout the years that I am not able to change the world by myself, but that I am certainly able to improve the lives of others. Slowly but surely, I know that I will be able to change the world by changing the individuals within the world. While this may sound far-fetched to some, i believe that what I do each and everyday is completely honest work. Because of that, I take great pride whenever I am able to alleviate the pain of someone.

 I do not have a problem with specific groups of people or specific illnesses. Something that my parents always made sure of was that I made sure that I knew how to treat all kinds of people with respect. There instilled in me a yearning to want to help everyone in need, regardless of what their situation might be. Therefore, because of my upbringing, I intend to do everything that it takes to be able to improve the lives of everyone who might be in need of anything. I realize that there are many methods of coping that many individuals use in order to improve their situation at hand. Unfortunately, some individual use drugs as their last resort in order to be able to improve their situation. When I see this, I am torn to pieces because I know that these people are so much more than what they are seeking out to be. I have developed the ability to see the potential in people when they cannot see it in themselves, and when they are looking for methods of coping with difficult situations, I make it my focus to make these individuals realize the great potential that they all have.

 I am well aware that helping everyone in the world is not a possibility, but ensuring that the maximum amount of individuals that I come across on a daily basis are well aware of the kind of coping mechanisms that they should have is my top priority. I would never want one of my friends to refer to depression and then suicide simply because he or she did not know how to move on to the next step of the grieving process, acceptance. While I am certainly no expert when it comes to how individuals should come to the fifth stage, I know that I have the natural ability to make individuals realize that they lives are far from over when they come across something difficult in their everyday lives. Therefore, I intend to spend the rest of my life being able to help all kind of people, regardless of what career I choose.

 Throughout this course, I was able to develop a genuine passion on how to deal with grief and I strongly believe in the idea that by sharing my knowledge acquired in this course with other individuals, they too, will understand that the human experience is often times a bumpy one. Despite this bumpy road, I hope that individuals will often times come to understand that the road is all part of the experience as well. I want everyone to realize that while their personal lives might at times be extremely difficult to deal with, there is nothing wrong with grieving every once in a while. The reason this holds true is because so many people repress their feelings until they no longer see that as an alternative and go straight into depression. I intend to make individuals realize that after the grieving process, it is then time to learn accept the factors that have contributed to ones unhappiness and learn to move on with time. Sure, this is something that will not be easily achieved, but I strongly believe that if I put in the work necessary to obtain this goal, I will achieve it sooner or later.

 The reason as to why it is so imperative that individuals are always aware of the correct methods of coping with difficult situations is so that they are able to remain cool, even when confronted with the toughest tribulations in their own respective lives. Once people come to learn of the importance of knowing how to deal with difficult situations, regardless of the chaos going on around their lives every day, they will be able to become better human beings. This is said as such because of the manner in which they will learn how to deal with all kinds of tasks. With this kind of knowledge, these individuals will be able to teach the same to other people and, in time, everyone will be well aware of how to deal with misfortunes in their lives.

Works Cited

“Coping with Grief and Loss: Understanding the Grieving Process.” Coping with Grief and Loss Understanding the Grieving Process. Helpguide.org, n.d. Web. 26 June 2015.

Mayo Clinic. “Depression (major Depression) Coping and Support – Mayo Clinic.” Depression (major depressive disorder). Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 26 June 2015. 

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