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Let’s Talk about It: Grief and Loss

According to Webster’s dictionary grief is defined as deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death.

How does one deal with grief and loss? How does one help the people around them deal with grief? How do you explain grief and loss to your children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, younger siblings, and all other impressionable minds?

Grief is something that has been felt heavily by all of us the last few years and brought up once again with the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas at Robb Elementary School, among many others — a sad reality for us here in America.

Every individual processes the “five stages of grief” (made famous by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross) differently and in different orders. I believe that there are so many different kinds of grief and each one is unique, but equally as painful when you’re in the middle of it. You have loss of a family member or friend, whether it be a parent, a child, a sibling, a close relative, or even a pet; you can have grief over someone who may not have passed away, but is just no longer a part of your life; you can experience grief over a miscarriage or another failed IVF cycle; you can grieve the past; and as we all have learned the last few years you can simply just experience grief over the state of the world and the pain we have had to endure since the beginning of 2020.

What are the five stages of grief?

  1. Denial: When the traumatic event happens, you might not want to accept it. Instead you go into survival mode where you may emotionally shut down.
  2. Anger: When denial becomes hard to maintain, anger can hit. You’re angry at the situation, or even at the person or thing you have lost, whether or not it is their fault. The anger can leave you with strong feelings of resentment.
  3. Bargaining: Bargaining is what we do when we are trying to make sense of what happened. We may begin to think things such as “if only I had done this, this wouldn’t happened” or “if only things went this way instead.”
  4. Depression: At this point, the loss feels real and unavoidable. You can experience feeling numb, struggling to get out of bed, and generally feeling gray about the world.
  5. Acceptance: After you have been through a whole journey of other emotions, you’ll hopefully be ready to accept what has happened. Acceptance isn’t sudden waves of extreme happiness and joy. It’s more the understanding that things can’t be changed, and you start to feel ready to move forward.

It’s important to understand that whatever stage you may be going through, you are not alone. I, personally, am currently going through the emotions somewhere between anger and bargaining. Two years ago my grandmother, who is one of my best friends, was placed in assisted living and is battling dementia. So my grief is coming from a place of grieving over someone who is physically here, but will never be the person I once had in my life, due to her diminished mental state. It’s hard and I constantly find myself being angry wondering why her mind had to slip so suddenly and bargaining “if COVID wouldn’t have hit then she could have gotten out and done more and her mind would’ve been sharper.” The most confusing part is that I understand I can’t change it, however, I’m still not ready to be in that acceptance stage.

While this is a bit different type of blog that you may have come to expect from us, we’re here to express to you that we see you and we understand. So today, we’re not the SAP Litmos who is trying to talk to you about the value of eLearning and related subjects. Today, we’re your moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and friends who are grieving with you.

In response, we’ve added the course “Grief and Loss” to the Litmos Training Content library. Please feel free to check out the course and know that you’re not alone and your feelings are valid.



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