Phases Of Grief And Despair: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


Alas, another one bites the dust.


“Will I ever recover?” “Is this pain going to end?” “Am I ever going to move on?” Probably the correct answer to these questions is: indefinitely maybe.


With grief, time is irrelevant. Grief takes as much space and time as it needs; it has a beginning but has a vague ending; sometimes, the process takes months or even years. It’s not easy to separate yourself from feeling the emptiness within. The more significant the loss is, the extensive the hole it creates. And no matter how you try to patch it up with tape and glue, the gaping hole is still as prominent as it is initially.


The Good

Seriously, is there anything good that you can get from losing a significant part of your life? Not anytime soon, but it will. The good thing about grief is the promising notion that there will come a time that your suffering will end and the loss will just be a numb scar imprinted on your timeline. As Debbie Augenthaler, LMHC, NCC explains, “Grief is a part of life we must embrace. Many people are grieving, feeling alone and overwhelmed. It’s important to remember that tears are like small messengers of unspeakable, indescribable love.”


Out of all the emotional turmoil that you have to bear, probably the positive thing that would come out from grieving the disappearance of someone – either death or an end to a long-term relationship, is that it strengthens you and molds you into becoming the best version of yourself. People become more refined in the face of death; especially those who have undergone tragic losses.


The entire process of succumbing and overcoming episodes of depression still depends entirely on how people interpret and handles the loss.


The Bad


Before you experience the good, you first have to go through the bad and the ugly. The bad is pertains to stages one and two of the grieving process. Phase one is shock and denial, while step two is pain and guilt. Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD advise is to  “Acknowledge and accept the feelings: The first step is to learn to bring the feeling out,” he said.


Stage one happens within the first few hours after the realization of the loss. Acknowledging the loss is as much as severe as absorbing the fact that someone whom you just talked to or seen a couple of minutes ago is now gone, probably lost forever into the abyss. You are aware that you are into thick with your melancholia,but there is numbness inside of you that prevents you from disintegrating into a pile of nothingness. You find yourself asking, “Why is it so hard for me to cry?”


Stage two is when denial presumably crumbles while hurt and remorse barge in. Blaming yourself and everybody else while embracing the shadow of regret – that is what happens in the second stage. Recollections of “what ifs” and “could have” keeps replaying inside your mind, wanting even for a second, to just go back in time and choose a different path.


The Ugly

It’s like riding a roller coaster – as you go higher and higher, you start to get debilitating anxiety,and once the ride goes faster and enters all the edgy loops and twisted turns, you find yourself screaming into the void,and you want the devastating flooding of emotions to stop. And no matter how you beg for the horrifying ride to end, it just keeps on going until it reaches its breaking point. Ashley Curiel, PsyD once said, “Everyone grieves differently; there is no right or wrong way and there is no schedule.”


Anything and everything becomes a trigger at this point. The sheer eminence of anger, bitterness, and frustration becomes intense. You tend to despise social interactions and get irritated at certain tendencies of verbalizations of sympathy.


A Better Day


Loss changes people. Life will never be the same as it was before. But recognize this: At the end of the day, after a wild roller coaster ride, you get to see the light at the other end of the tunnel. You gain wisdom and exceptional understanding of how life works and how you can make everything worth the while. The day will come when it feels like you have been pulled out of the gutter and into the surface where sunlight will smother you with moments of tranquility and acceptance.