Losing someone is extremely difficult. There is no guide on how to overcome grief. If there was life after death, it would be a lot easier. However, it is not that easy. There is not a nice package to stuff all your emotions in. In all reality, you must let them outside of that box and allow grief to take it place.

It is said there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, what if, depression and acceptance. They are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. Just keep in mind everyone grieves differently, but it helps to know you are not the only one experimenting these feelings.

Denial is the first stage of grief. This maybe that stage where you are trying to be strong for your family or other loved ones. You almost seem numb to the pain you are feeling. Everything around you seems to be a daze. It is a mixture of shock and denial. As crazy as it sounds there is a little grace in denial. It helps you cope from the beginning. As an individual, who has loss someone close, I remember telling myself my sister was gone somewhere, but of course not that type of gone during this stage.

Once the numbness fades a sense of anger begins to take over. I experienced all types of anger. I was angry at God for taking my sister. I wanted him to heal her on Earth. I was angry with the doctors for not saving her. I was angry at my friends that did not show during the time, I needed them the most. My heart became angry. However, I believe that is okay. I believe it is necessary to express those emotions of anger. Do not feel guilty for this. We are human and it is part of this process.


During the "what if" stage you may blame yourself. We just want life the way it was before. We begin to question everything: What if we would have seen the signs of suicide? What if we had the tumor sooner? What if we hadn't had that surgery? What if they took swimming lessons/ What if I told them they could not go out that night? What if we had gone to church more? The list is endless. There is nothing you could have done differently, no matter what could of happened. Unfortunately, no matter how much our heart denies it, it was their time to go.

After evaluating everything that has happened you may begin to feel empty. You have no hope or desire to do anything. You would rather withdrawal from life and grieve. As someone who has faced and overcame depression, I know the negative stigma associated with being depressed. However, it is important that we face depression. It is natural to face this when losing a loved one. I do ask if you are experiencing any thoughts of hurting yourself in any way please contact your doctor or The National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

The final stage is acceptance. However, this does not mean everything is alright and you have moved on. Honestly you may never feel "alright" again. There is a whole that will forever remain in your heart. This stage is accepting the reality that you will face life without your loved one physically being there with you. This is becoming the new permanent reality. You have to try and live in this new world. This does not mean you will not have bad days. It has been almost three years and I still have bad days. However, it means you will also have good days. That is OK. Do not feel guilty for that either. I can assure you, your loved one would want you to rejoice in life.

"We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time."