We were sitting in the church before my mother’s funeral. My son and my nephew, both about 13 at the time were sitting next to each other. I don’t know who started to laugh first, but between the two of them, it became contagious. My sister was a bit annoyed at those two boys but she just didn’t understand what was really happening. Darrell and Joel loved their Grandma a lot and I knew that they weren’t laughing at anything in particular. The second stage of the grief cycle is Emotional Release. This is the ability to get rid of those bottled up feelings by crying, by screaming and yes, even by laughing…whatever positive manifestations that allow a release of emotions.
It’s important to know that even though we will all experience these stages of grief, we will experience them at our own speed and maybe more than one stage at a time. It’s also important to know that it may take a couple of years to work your way through a “good grief” cycle. If you have ever heard of the phrase “bad grief”, it would relate to becoming stuck in one stage and not being able to move on.
The third stage of the grief cycle is Depression. This is the stage when you start to realize the impact of the loss. This is the stage when you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning or once you get the kids off to school, you want to go back to bed and stay there. What’s really important to know in this stage is that the people around you really do care. So if you are reading this, and you know someone who is grieving, let me tell you that a phone call, a visit or a card are all good things. Don’t stay away because you don’t think that you know the right things to say. Sometimes you just need to listen. Sometimes it’s not what you say that means so much, but just the fact that you cared enough to come.