I decided to go back and list the stages of grief the way the author of Healing the Child Within has broken them down in his book. Obviously he didn’t create the stages but he has added some interesting behaviors, I’m guessing upon his own observations.
Once I take this book back to the library, I want to be able to refer to this and use it in my healing and recovery process because I can look back or even see myself now behaving in some of these ways in stage 2.
Stage 1: Shock, alarm and denial.
Stage 2: Acute grief, consisting of:
Continuing, intermittent and lessening denial.
Physical and psychological pain and distress.
Contradictory pulls, emotions and impulses.
Searching behavior composed of:
-Preoccupation with thoughts of the loss, a compulsion to speak of the loss and to retrieve that which was lost, a sense of waiting for something to happen, aimless wandering and restlessness, a feeling of being lost, of not knowing what to do, inability to initiate any activity, a feeling that time is suspended, disorganization and a sense that life can never be worthwhile again, confusion and feelings that things are not real, fear that all the above indicate mental illness.
-Crying, anger, guilt, shame.
-Identifying with traits, values, symtoms, tastes or characteristics of the lost object.
-Regression and return to behaviors and feelings of an earlier age or connected with a previous loss or reactions thereto.
-Helplessness and depression, hope or hopelessness, relief.
-Decrease in pain and increasing capacity to cope over time.
-A drive to find meaning in the loss.
-Beginning thoughts of a new life without the lost object.
Stage 3: Integration of the loss and grief.
If the outcome is favorable:
Acceptance of the reality of the loss and return to physical and psychological well being, diminished frequency and intensity of crying, restored self-esteem, focus on the present and future, ability to enjoy life again, pleasure at awareness of growth from the experience, reorganization of a new identity with restitution for the loss and loss remembered with poignancy and caring instead of pain.
If the outcome is unfavorable:
Acceptance of the reality of the loss with lingering of depression and physical aches and pains, of lower self-esteem, reorganization of a new identity with constriction of personality and involvement and vulnerability to other separations and losses.
Note: Grieving isn’t linear.