The Stress Of Loss
by: Pastor Michael Harmon
Throughout our lives we all experience losses. Most of the losses we experience are small and easily coped with. However, there are losses that overwhelm us beyond our ability to cope. Catastrophic loss of ones home, belongings and health can devastate a person’s ability to psychologically deal with the stress of such losses. It doesn’t matter that your loss is through an instantaneous event (such as a tornado) or the slow process of toxic mold taking over your home, the results are the same.
The grief over such losses requires time to properly heal. The healing process can be long and emotionally painful. Family and friends are instrumental in the healing process by understanding and encouraging the person impacted by loss through the process of healing. Here are the five the stages of recovery in the healing process.
- Denial – over the severity of the loss, that the loss has taken place or the impact of the loss on their lives.
- Bartering – asking God to change things. (i.e., God, if you will change this I promise to.)
- Anger – about not being unable to control the situation in which the person finds themselves.
- Depression – the reality of the loss is fully realized.
- Acceptance – at this point the person is able to express the emotional pain of the loss they have experienced and deal with daily tasks of putting their lives back together.
Persons experiencing loss must go through and complete all five stages of the healing process to regain emotional health.
When a person who has experienced loss understands that they are experiencing a natural reaction to the loss they have endured, the impacted person may no longer feel they are crazy or somehow weak by feeling the way they do. Friends and family can help a person move through the needed steps to regain a sense of control in their lives.