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"The Art of Peace" Education Manual

Chapter 9 - The Seven Stages of Grief

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"The Art of Peace" Education Manual

We suggest several ways to get the most out of this Peace Education Manual:

1) Which 7 verses in each chapter are your favorite? Why?
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Would they be mostly Mental insights, Emotional insights, Physical (health) insights, Spiritual insights, or Enlightenment insights? Why?
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Chapter 9 - The Seven Stages of Grief

The 7 Stages of Grief

9.1 - SHOCK & DENIAL:
You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.

9.2- PAIN & GUILT:
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs. You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn't do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.

9.3 - ANGER & BARGAINING:
Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion. You may rail against fate, questioning "Why me?" You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never drink again if you just bring him back").

9.4- "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS:
Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be "talked out of it" by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving. During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

9.5- THE UPWARD TURN-
As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your "depression" begins to lift slightly.

9.6- RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one(s). You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.

9.7- ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-
During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you might never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

9.8- Eventually, you will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. You will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living. The main thing to realize is that you are not alone in feeling grief, sadness and pain. Almost everyone of us will experience grief, some more than others, but grief is as much a part of the human experience as love and happiness are.


9.9- Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland

9.10- When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

9.11- A human life is a story told by God. ~Hans Christian Andersen

9.12- To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die. ~Thomas Campbell, "Hallowed Ground"

9.13- While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. ~John Taylor

9.14- Tears are Godís gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow. ~Rita Schiano, Sweet Bitter Love, 1997, published by The Reed Edwards Company

9.15- When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. ~Author Unknown

9.16- Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. ~Author Unknown


Peace for All & All for Peace

World Peace Newsletter

Last Revision: July 17, 2011

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