National Grief Awareness Day

Today, August 30th, is a day that recognizes the grief that can consume us when we lose someone we love. The effects that death can have on us, vary from person to person. A woman named Angie Cartwright founded National Grief Awareness Day in 2014. Familiar with loss, she too became lost in her grief and since has become dedicated to bringing support to those who have endured pain like her.

To firmly understand how to help those faced with grief, or to help ourselves, we need to understand the cognitive, social, and philosophical road blocks that come with losing someone who’s close to us. There are five stages of grief that a person will go through on their way to finding peace, and denial is the first. Being reliable to this person during this stage is most helpful. Next is anger, lashing out at others or becoming upset very easily are common. No person should ever become physical but this is a possibility, so be aware. Bargaining is the third stage. The person will focus on what they themselves or others could have done differently to prevent the loss, thinking about the things that could have been.

Fourth is depression. This is when grief becomes most real and to the center. Reminiscing about good times can help a person through this stage. Lastly, a person will finally come to acceptance. No longer looking back, but moving forward from the loss. Things will final start feeling “normal” for them and their lives.

There is no time frame for experiencing grief and sometimes it doesn’t go away. We can become consumed by feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, not being able to function at work or at home. Professional help should be sought after immediately if faced with these feelings. As hard as it may seem, surround yourself with friends and loved ones. Be sure you have a good support system around you, or be that support system for a friend in need.