Every human being suffers significant losses and misfortunes, such as the death of a loved one, the death of a favourite pet, a business failure, a rejection by a fiancé, the loss of an arm or leg in an accident, the discovery of an incurable illness. Wherever any human being suffers a significant loss or misfortune he goes through all five stages of grief. Some mature individuals go through them more guiding their others. Grief reactions are not clinical depressions.
However, a grief reaction can turn into a clinical depression if a person is weighed down for too long a period in the second or third stage.
Stage1: Denial
The individual refuses momentarily to believe this is happening to him. This stage usually does not last very long.
Stage 2: Anger Turned outward
The second stage that all of us experience whenever we suffer a significant loss is an angry reaction towards someone other than ourselves. We even feel anger toward the person who died, even though he had no choice in the matter. This always happens when a young child loses one of his parents due to death or divorce, for instance. This is a normal human reaction. This stage almost always includes some anger toward God for allowing the death to occur. Our anger toward God is often repressed so rapidly that we are not aware of it.
Stage 3 Anger Turned Inward
After the reality of the significant loss or reversal is accepted and the grieving person has reacted angrily towards God and whoever else he hold responsible, the grieving person begins to feel quite guilty. The guilt is usually a combination of true guilt and false guilt. The grieving one feels some true guilt for holding a grudge against God and others. Though, it is right to get angry when we suffer a significant loss. Anger is an automatic human response. God wants us to forgive others and ourselves for our own good because if we hold grudges, we will eventually become clinically depressed. So, the grieving person feels some legitimate guilt, for he is holding grudges and that is a sin.
The grieving person also begins at this point to ruminate over his own mistakes which may have contributed to the significant loss or reversal. He has a tendency at this point to absurdly blame himself for everything. Hindsight is always better than foresight, he can see in hindsight things he could have done that may have helped prevent the loss. He turns all his anger and grudges inward into himself. Instead of confessing his true errors to God and forgiving himself for not having perfect foresight, he hold a grudge against himself and begins to punish himself through self-critical thoughts. Most people work through this stage finally, quickly and go on to stage four however, if the grieving person stage for very long in the anger-turned-inward stage, his grief will surely become a clinical depression which could take months to work through in therapy. Without therapy, he could stay depressed the rest of his life.
Stage 4: genuine grief
This is probably the most important stage and vitally necessary one. Whenever we suffer a significant loss or reversal, it is very important for men as well as women to have a good cry. Our culture encourage most men and some women to be stoic to hold in their feelings and show how “strong” they are by not crying (not even at a funeral). Was Joseph weak when he wept over his father’s death? Was Jesus Christ our Lord weak when He wept over the loss of His friend Lazarus? Of course not! Weeping over a significant loss is both human and godly. Not grieving can lead to a low grade depression that can last for many years, your dead loved one may be joyful in heaven now, but you will still miss his companionship until you join him some day. So go ahead and cry about your loss. It will bring you quickly to stage five.
Stage 5: Resolution
Stage 5 is a rather brief stage which occurs once a person has worked through his denial, anger-turned-outward, anger-turned-inward and genuine grief (weeping). During resolution he regains his zest for life and joy. Resolution occurs automatically after stages one through four.
Every normal human being, after suffering a significant loss, or misfortune, goes through all five stages of grief. The entire process in a mature individual will take from three to six weeks after a very significant loss such as the death of a mate. But knowing the dynamics of all five stages does not prevent grief reactions from occurring after a significant loss-it simply helps the individual speed through the five stages somewhat more rapidly and with less fear.

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