Compassionate Acceptance


 Glenn Bigonet, M.A.

Mental Health Counselor

Certified EFT  Therapist







What Are Your Rules For Grieving?

It seems as if everyone has their own rules for grieving.  What do you grieve?  How long do you grieve?  How are you supposed to act when you grieve?  When many people think about grieving they think of the stereotypical widow wearing black for a certain amount of time.  Often grieving is only considered to occur when we have suffered a major loss.   We are told we should just feel sadness while we are grieving and that feeling any joy is disrespectful to those we lost or shows that we really did not love them.  The truth is that we all grieve differently for each loss that we have.  Sometimes we recover quickly and sometimes it takes longer than we expect.  Sometimes we feel intense grief over something we think is small and little grief when we think we have had a major loss.  In short, there is no set pattern for grief.

Stages of Grief

The most common theories of grief are based on the Five Stages of Grief as developed my Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Her five stages include:

  1. Denial - The disbelief that the loss occurred.
  2. Anger - The expression of our powerlessness to change the loss.
  3. Bargaining - Looking for a way to reverse the loss.
  4. Depression - Deep sadness as a result of the loss.
  5. Acceptance - Coming to terms with the loss.

It is quite common for these stages to occur out of order and some believe that not all happen all the time.  I believe we always go through all five stages but sometimes the intensity of a stage is so low or so short lived we don't always notice it.

The Frequency of Grief

We go through a grieving process whenever we have a loss of any kind.  Some say that whenever we make a decision and choose one thing over another we grieve the loss of the one we chose against.  If this is the case then we grieve on a daily basis.  Certainly it is the major losses that we feel the most, but not acknowledging the smaller losses can reduce the joy we feel in our lives. 

Waves of Grief

The emotions of grief often come in waves.  At times we feel them and at other times there are gone or weaker.  Once we have had a break from our grief and felt other emotions then we feel another wave of the grief.  The different waves can vary in size and intensity and are usually unpredictable as to when they will hit us or how long they will last.  Typically, over time, they get smaller and less frequent.  It is not uncommon to feel a wave of grief years after the last wave.

My Approach to Working With Grief

Together we will look at your grieving process to gain an understanding of how you react to grief and where you might get stuck in the grieving process.  I will support you in going through the different stages and provide you with techniques for coping with the emotions of grief to minimize their effects on your life and to move to resolution at a pace that fits for you.

Copyright © 2017   Glenn Bigonet, M.A.