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Grief: Shock & Denial

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

We cannot control many things in our lives, whether it be the loss of a family member, friend, grandparent, parent, spouse, sibling, child or even the unborn. But what we can do is be happy for the memories, the joy that person shared with us. Though our hearts may still cry, there is no choice when it comes to losing someone. So, you must always push through and carry on. Grief doesn’t always come from the loss of a person. So many people have lost family pets, pets that were their companions. Maybe that pet was their only friend. But grief doesn’t stop there. In some cases, grief can be numbing. For example, after a breakup from a marriage, relationship or even friendship. What about the loss of a job or financial security?

I was around thirteen years old when I had my first sense of grief. It was April first when we heard that my grandfather had passed away. I am unsure if I was old enough to comprehend what happened. As the years came and went, we lost many more friends and family members.

Grief Shock & Denial

Here is a glimpse of my story.

I have always wanted to be an author of adult fiction romance. However, it never seemed to be the right time. You see, life threw some shit my way, and I wasn’t sure if I could ever make it through. It all started when I got a phone call that my younger brother had died in a tragic car accident. He was in his twenties and had his whole life ahead of him…but in the blink of an eye, he was gone.

Thirteen years later, after ten years of marriage, I lost my husband to cancer, and three months later, my father passed away from a heart attack.

I have spent my entire adult life living with grief. These are the moments that will resonate in my soul for the rest of my life.

But what happens to us when we lose someone?

Well, it almost always begins with #Shock and #Denial.

The shock can be paralyzing, giving your entire body a numb feeling even when you can foresee it happening. Even when you see it with your own eyes or hold someone’s hand as they take their last breath. But, going numb allows us the time, at our own pace, to explore the changes we are going through. For some of us, we feel like nothing matters anymore. Life as we once knew it has changed in the blink of an eye. The path we were on can switch to a path we never planned, and it can be challenging to think that it’s okay for us to move on. Everything can feel overwhelming and even meaningless. Yet, we try to get through each day.

Then, the denial starts, and this is our mind’s defense mechanism. Defense mechanisms are the behaviours we use to separate ourselves from unpleasant events, actions, or thoughts. We may start to act as if nothing has happened. Even though we know someone has died. We may believe that they will come back to us. Then, we look for evidence to confirm that they are truly gone. You hope that someone somewhere will call and tell you that there has been a mistake.

Shock and Denial are the first stages of grief and are natural reactions. They help us process the loss in our own time. These temporary responses help carry us through the initial wave of pain. There is one true thing: we all grieve differently. Always remember, there is no right or wrong way of dealing with loss. #Coping with it is very personal, and some people go through the process of #grief in just a couple of days. At the same time, other people can take months or even longer.

To anyone who is going through grief, you are never alone. I wish you all the strength you need to take a leap of faith and start a whole new journey.

Thank you for reading!

Much love,

Deborah Adele

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