“Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm”. (anon)
Remember the oft-repeated serenity prayer? Here it is in part, “…grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”. For some this seems easily come by. For others not so easy. As to the events, the ease of accepting the things we cannot change depends in large part on the severity of the event. It also depends on the individual who is required to accept it. Grief and loss being one of the most traumatic, among others.
As to our requirement to accept very severe tragedies, we may need lots of time. We may even need to traverse the five stages of grief; “denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance”. (The Kübler-Ross model )
As Elisabeth Kübler-Ross & David Kessler outlined years ago, below is an abbreviated reminder (briefly quoted in grief.com):
DENIAL Denial is the first of the five stages of grief. It helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial
ANGER Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless.
BARGAINING Bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce. “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others?
DEPRESSION After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever.
ACCEPTANCE Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one. This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it.
Does this look like other irreversible traumas in your life?
If you agree this is where Counseling on Demand comes in. You need not go through this alone. With our support, you can get through these times. Our team of counselors are equipped to guide you through these five stages if need be.
We can help. You needn’t leave your favorite/private place. Nor must you wait for an appointment. We are there 24/7. You can begin in 24 hours or less.
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