April 15, 2013
One of the hardest things to do in life is to say goodbye to a loved one. When people deal with death they often feel bereaved because the person they loved or cared for is now gone. My grandfather died in 2008 and when I first heard the news I was devastated. My mood kept changing and I couldn’t find a way to cope with the situation. My mother noticed my moods and decided to put both of us in a support group. On the first day of the support group I was so scared that people would not listen or they would not understand. After saying my story everybody in the room knew exactly what I was going through. When I learned that people went through the same things I went through it made me happy in a way. I was happy mostly because I was not alone anymore. Death is one of the hardest experiences that we experience with and we all cope in different ways, and through my support group meetings I learned how others deal with death. There is no right or wrong way to deal with death but there is always support and in time there will be acceptance. To really understand some ones feelings you have to go through what they are going through. When my Grandfather died I was caught up in my own emotions and I did not get the chance to see how my mother was taking in the news. I recently talked to her about how her initial reaction was and how did she learn to deal with it. She told me “I was always prepared in the back of my mind that it would happen, but I was completely wrong. Every day it was like a piece of my heart was gone”. I completely understood what she meant but what really shocked me is what she told me. She said “The unhealthiest way I escaped from my problems was smoking weed again for the first time in thirty seven years”. She told me it was her solution for escaping reality. Then realized avoiding your problems is not the right way to live. I asked her how many people she talked to after my grandfather died and said maybe a few until we went to the support groups. My mom was grieving by smoking weed but I learned through my bereave groups that people handle it in all different ways. I remember one of the men who were at the group, he will remain nameless, and he had one of the saddest stories I’ve heard. His wife of ten years twelve years was visiting the world trade center on the day of 9/11. Regrettable he lost his family that day. He didn’t have anyone to talk to since he has always been an orphan. He then turned to cocaine and heroin. He then almost died from overdosing three times. His life changed when his family died but know he started being involved in his religion and found new light. He found support groups and they taught him the five stages of grief. “In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what became known as the “five stages of grief.” These stages of grief were based on her studies of the feelings of patients facing terminal illness, but many people have generalized them to other types of negative life changes and losses, such as the death of a loved one” (missionhospice.bc.ca). The five stages include Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance but a person may not go through all stages. There is no time frame; people could end their grieving process, while only going through two or three of the stages, while others never finish the five stages. These stages effect other people in the family and the stages that a person is going through can often transfer to a loved one. How fast and how long this process takes completely relies on the person. Unfortunately Robert and Jeanne Segal, founders of help guide.org, they went through this process but came out of it on top.
“…our daughter, Morgan Leslie Segal, who died in 1996 at the age of 29. For six years, she grappled with a condition that started as low self-esteem and worsened into major depression. During this period she was given a variety of SSRI and