Psychologists explain that there are five to seven stages of grief that we move through as we process our loss. The first process is the feeling of shock and resulting denial.
We may expect the person we love to show up at any minute and disbelieve that they are gone.
Shock involves reacting “to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain.” The initial shock may last several weeks and cause us to feel disconnected from our lives.
If you are still in shock about the loss of your loved one, be gentle with yourself. The roller coaster of emotions is normal. Honor the pain you feel and find support from those you trust.
When a friend is hit by loss and the accompanying shock, be there for them in a thousand quiet ways. Give them space to process their pain on their own timetable. They will lean on your supportive, calm presence when they feel they just can’t go on.
Expect the pain and understand the trauma. This stage of grief has knocked the wind out of us, but we must step through it with patience, support and rooted in our deep love for those we have lost.