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The River Of Grief

The river of grief

Photo: © Peter Hodge

Stages In The Grieving Process

The stages of grieving a loved one have been compared to the stages of going over a waterfall and down a river.

Stage 1: Going Over A Waterfall  -  the shock makes it feel as if time has stood still

Stage 2: Tumbling Into A Whirlpool of Emotions  -  overwhelmed by a whirlpool of feelings

Stage 3: The Turmoil Subsides As The River Flows On  -  things begin to calm down

Stage 4: The River Winds Down To The Sea  -  life flows on

It is important to stress that this is not a linear sequence. We may go through these stages in slightly different ways and find ourselves revisiting some stages more than once. But it shows that it is normal for us to feel a sense of loss at the thought of our own death, and we may be apprehensive about the actual process of dying through fear of the unknown and of any pain involved in the process.

When Death Comes Suddenly: The Problem Of Unfinished Business

Of course death sometimes comes suddenly with little or no warning. Because of this it is important to know where we are going when we die and to ensure, if possible, we have not left any unfinished business, such as forgiving anyone who has hurt us or saying sorry to someone we have hurt.

Unfinished business can be a cause of increased anguish for those left behind, who may be left thinking  "If only I had said sorry before s/he went off and was killed in the car crash."


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