I recently assisted an elder client of mine by being with her at the moment her older sister passed away.
Even though my work as an estate organizer has presented me with many opportunities to observe the grieving process in my clients in the past, I had never been this close to the experience.
Witnessing the death of my client’s beloved sister threw me into my own grieving process, something I had not expected.
I know loss comes in many forms and grief comes right along with it. Sometimes we pass through it quickly, within minutes, sometimes it takes days or years, depending on the vastness of the loss.
Common wisdom on the grieving process identifies three distinct, yet overlapping stages of grief:
- shock / denial / numbness
- fear / anger / depression
- understanding / acceptance / moving on
Each stage of this process is natural, necessary, and part of healing.
I found through my experience that it is best not to rush the process and to stay aware of all the stages whether you are experiencing them yourself or trying to support someone else through their grief.
For more information on loss and grief, I highly recommend the book How to Survive the Loss of a Love, by Melba Colgrove, Harold Bloomfield, & Peter McWilliams.