Are the stages of grief in breakups and death the same? They are different events of course but they can feel similarly shattering.
My perspective on this comes entirely from my experience of dealing with both in the recent past. I believe that both can seem as hard at the time and the stages you go through are very similar.
So lets first start by talking about these stages of grief, I’ll be using the 5 most common…
Denial and isolation:
So when I broke up with a former lover I pushed her and everyone away, I wanted to be alone and sad and cry and mull over everything. But I was in total denial as to what had happened and before I knew it my messages weren’t getting returned and I’d pushed everyone away who actually cared.
I was in complete denial of the situation and in denial of it ending and I took myself to my own headspace and stayed there. I was hurt more than I’ve ever been hurt in my life and it felt like the best part of me had be ripped away forever.
Unfortunately I lost both my parents recently and I know I shared some of these traits again
I retreated to my own space in my head again, being alone was something I desired just to be left alone and as anyone who has lost a parent to this day it still feels like I will see them at anytime. It’s a sort of denial, I know that they are gone, I know this deeply and feel that horrible feeling of having the best ripped out of me again, but in terms of being without them I don’t think I’ll ever feel that they are completely gone.
Isolation for me is not a bad thing but a comfort zone of sorts and the denial is something I’m sure a lot of people feel when they lose someone close in both cases.
I was so angry the rage physically, mentally and emotionally consumed me
I cannot describe how it felt on both occasions but they were on par with each other I can tell you that. Everything made me angry and I wont lie, this stage has stayed with me through time. Mostly it is the anger with myself now and what could’ve been done differently.
As a person I try never to deal in what if’s, but when dealing with these situations I most definitely have regrets and things I wish I said or done differently and will never get the chance to do, and it makes me so angry to this day that I will never get that chance.
“I would give anything….”
Sound familiar? If you’ve had a breakup, and I mean from someone you truly loved, then you really will mean those words because the hurt of going on without that person can be so hard to bare. Even years after the event somewhere in the back of your mind you will always care and always give anything for that person to be back in your life.
Now if you actually lose a loved one then those words until the day you leave this world will definitely mean a lot to you because it is so very hard when you don’t feel that persons love and laughter and essence anymore. It leaves a void in our life like nothing else.
I really would give anything to have these people back in my life, I know they are all gone forever and that’s something we just have to deal with.
The dark stage…
This is probably the place where everyone doesn’t want to be, and most don’t want to talk about. Lets be honest, depression will affect most of us in our lives. Hands up I thought I had been depressed in the past until I dealt with break ups and deaths.
Depression hits because the emotional pain of it all overwhelms us and sends us spiralling. When I broke up with my partner the devastation of it depressed me for a while. Now for me this is something I never showed on the surface but I deeply felt within myself.
When my parents passed away this same veil fell over me. It’s something of a wall I throw up to protect my psyche from being further damaged and helps with dealing in this mental health issue.
I am one of the lucky few that has the mental toughness to pull through this but I cannot tell you about my lowest of lows.
All I can say that it got so bad I felt like I couldn’t go on anymore.
You will never understand until you’ve been there but I would add if there’s a way down there’s a way up, however hard that path back is.
I had no-one, I dealt with it myself it made me stronger but I really wish I had someone to help me through the hard times too.
Reach out like I never did, until well after the event it helps to talk and some people do genuinely care.
I must say this stage of grief annoys me.
I say this because, yes I accept they are gone, but also I don’t. I accept my former partner is gone but the impact they had on my life is not.
The legacy and memories we made are there still. I accept at this time we are not together but not that we will never be again, the universe is a funny old place after all!
Acceptance is perspective based and my perspective is that she will always be carried with me, that is what I accept and that is my reality because I decided it is.
My parents who I loved more than words could say, are now gone from me, but the impact, legacy and memories remain also. I accept they are gone but my belief, my faith tells me we will be together again.
My perspective, born from my experiences in life, allow me to know this reality too. Just to be clear I am not religious. I carry my former partner, my mother and my father in my heart everyday and we all symbiotically form the whole that I am. This is my acceptance.
To sum it all up
Losing anyone, no matter if it’s from distance to death, it is hard. We all follow the stages of grief outlined here in any situation of losing a person. No one situation is less hard than another it just all depends on the person going through them.
The one takeaway from this article should be the positivity that now surrounds my world due to these experiences as hard as they are, the positives I got from them has seen me through other events in my life.
If you feel you would like to speak more about what this article discusses I would implore you to contact me, I’ve been there I can help!
Keep the perspective positive you will go on!
Connect here with WatchFit expert Neil Paterson