Mourning and Moving Forward

The stages of grief can happen at any time. There’s not always or often a quick start-stop to bereavement. The reality of this ongoing nature is what’s so unconscionable about leaving older adults and senior citizens with mental health conditions in the dust when their elderly parents are gone.

The Stages of Grief

I will use the diagnosis as an example–yet mourning any kind of loss is likely at any time in our lives. The day our loved ones are gone is possibly the most sad time of all. The stages of grief can happen at any time.

Shock:

You’re not fully conscious of what has happened.

Denial: You cannot believe that the loss is real.

Anger:

You wonder: “Why this illness? Why me?”

Bargaining:

You attempt to maintain the status quo even though it is no longer possible and you can’t go on the way things were before.

Depression: You can no longer deny the truth of the loss.

Acceptance: You have had time to work through these stages and it is here you come to terms with the loss. You take action to move beyond it.

Grieving is a natural and healthy response to your diagnosis and the circumstances of your changed life. It is by mourning the past that you clear the way to a brighter future.

Living in anger for the rest of your life is no way to live. Anger takes a lot of energy to maintain. It keeps you stuck. Working through your anger can motivate you to make positive changes.

It’s truly possible to have a better life after some of us get sick than we had before.

Like any loss we have to mourn there’s also not always a quick start-stop to the hard time we experience after we get a diagnosis.

“Move along” we must as the All-American Rejects sing in their modern rock song.

Moving along often takes time. It’s often a long and winding road we go down.

Yet remember this: our loved ones will always be with us even after they’re gone.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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