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  • Robert J. Dixon

It's Normal to Grieve

Grieving is an emotional response and healing process when we lose something. These days I think we are all grieving the loss of our routines when it comes to school, work and other activities. It's important to be reminded of the stages of grief.

  • Denial - this represents the disbelief that the event has happened or is happening in the case of the pandemic. Believing that the pandemic is not real or there is no danger to self and/or others may be part of this denial.

  • Anger - this represents the the intense negative feelings associated with loss (e.g., how can this happen?, why did this happen?).

  • Depression - sadness at not being able to do the regular tasks can be the hallmark of this stage. Feeling a loss of energy, motivation, and drive can inhibit your ability to feel productive.

  • Bargaining - represents a time when you argue with yourself, others or God to find meaning or a way to move forward. Taking shortcuts or justifying behaviors can be the sign of bargaining.

  • Acceptance - Emotions begin to stabilize and you are able to move forward with the new reality.

While we may think that these five stages represent a linear path, it is far more likely that it ebbs and flows as you begin to cognitively and emotionally process the new reality. It is okay to have feelings and important to have an emotional vocabulary to describe what you are feeling. Reaching out to others to find support, encouragement, and the shared reality can be helpful in moving forward.

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