“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.”
“At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.”
– C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
Experiencing grief is a human way of responding to the trauma caused by the anticipated or permanent death of a loved one. When coping with the loss of a loved one, it is important to first acknowledge the presence of grief in your life in order to start getting through it.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist, pioneered studies on grief and loss and published a book called On Death and Dying. Her research identified five main stages of grief. It’s important to note that not everybody experiences the five stages in the same sequential pattern. While some people spend a longer amount of time in a particular stage more than others, it is also possible for an individual to find him or herself returning to one phase before moving on to another. According to research done by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler, these stages are “responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one.”
Read more: Misconceptions About the Five Stages of Grief
Courtesy of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Vancouver
Your parish clergy are a wonderful resource for you during this time of loss. As an extension of your parish, our deacons at Catholic Cemeteries are also available to offer prayer, comfort and consolation to you and your family.
Deacon Steve Hill
Deacon Jim Tardy
Deacon Norm Tierney