When the first news of Covid-19 broke out, we never thought it will go to this extent, where we will lose a huge population, a lot of our beloveds.
The duration between lock-down starts and lock-down ends, we are completely shattered multiple times, with a number of news publicizes.
I observed, that there was a fight between the ideas of believers and no-believers of GOD. it was an ideal fight between theists and atheists. Sometime theists win sometimes atheists. Trust shattered and faith grounded many times.
I remember a Swiss psychiatrist, Kübler-Ross first introduced her five stage grief model in her book On Death and Dying. Kübler-Ross’ model was based on her work with terminally ill patients and has received much criticism in the years since.
Mainly, because people studying her model mistakenly believed this is the specific order in which people grieve and that all people go through all stages.
Kübler-Ross now notes that these stages are not linear and some people may not experience any of them. Yet and still, others might only undergo two stages rather than all five, one stage, three stages, etc. It is now more readily known that these five stages of grief are the most commonly observed experienced by the grieving population.
When a human goes through any tragedy, natural disaster, accident, they pass through 5 stages. They are Denial, Anger, Bargain, Depression, and Acceptance.
In era of COVID-19, we faced all five stages, before accept its existence and it is a pandemic.
First Stage: Denial
The first statement we had given to everyone was “What a rubbish?”, this could not possible. We denial news, we denial all the facts. Denial is the stage that can initially help you survive the loss. We might think life makes no sense, life has no meaning and is too overwhelming. We start to deny the news and, in effect, go numb.
It’s common in this stage to wonder how life will go on in this different state – we are in a state of shock because life as we once knew it, has changed in an instant. If we were diagnosed with a deadly disease, we might believe the news is incorrect – a mistake must have occurred somewhere in the lab–they mixed up your blood work with someone else.
If we receive news on the death of a loved one, perhaps we cling to a false hope that they identified the wrong person.
In the denial stage, we are not living in ‘actual reality,’ rather, we are living in a ‘preferable’ reality. Interestingly, it is denial and shock that help us cope and survive the grief event.
Denial aids in pacing our feelings of grief. Instead of becoming completely overwhelmed with grief, we deny it, do not accept it, and stagger its full impact on us at one time.
Think of it as your body’s natural defense mechanism saying “hey, there’s only so much I can handle at once.”
Once the denial and shock started to fade, the start of the healing process begins. At this point, those feelings that we were once suppressing are coming to the surface.
Second Stage: Anger
Well, in this stage we have a feeling, of news to be true to some extent. But if it happened to ourselves, then the scenario is completely different. Once we start to live in ‘actual’ reality again and not in ‘preferable’ reality, anger might start to set in.
I think this is a common stage to think “why me?” and “I think life is not fair!”
We might look to blame others for the cause of our grief and also may redirect our anger to close friends and family especially in case disease reaches through them.
We find it incomprehensible of how something like this could happen to us. If we are strong in faith, we might start to question our belief in God. “Where is God? Why didn’t he protect me?”
Researchers and mental health professionals agree that this anger is a necessary stage of grief. They encourage anger. It’s important to truly feel the anger. It’s thought that even though you might seem like you are in an endless cycle of anger, it will dissipate – and the more you truly feel the anger, the more quickly it will dissipate, and the more quickly you will heal. It is not healthy to suppress your feelings of anger – it is a natural response – and perhaps, arguably, a necessary one.
In everyday life, we are normally told to control our anger toward situations and toward others. When you experience a grief event, you might feel disconnected from reality – that you have no grounding anymore. Your life has shattered and there’s nothing solid to hold onto.
Think of anger as a strength to bind you to reality. You might feel deserted or abandoned during a grief event. That no one is there. You are alone in this world. The direction of anger toward something or somebody is what might bridge you back to reality and connect you to people again. It is a “thing.” It’s something to grasp onto – a natural step in healing.
Third Stage: Bargaining
When something bad happens, have we ever caught ourselves making a deal with God? like “Please God, if you heal my husband, I will strive to be the best wife I can ever be – and never complain again.” or “I will be healed, I will donate a fair amount to your temple”. This is bargaining. In a way, this stage is false hope.
We might falsely make ourselves believe that we can avoid the grief through a type of negotiation. “If we change this, I’ll change that”. We are so desperate to get our life back to how it was before the grief event, we are willing to make a major life change in an attempt toward normality.
Guilt is a common wingman of bargaining. This is when we endure the endless “what if” statements. like “What if I had left the house 5 minutes sooner – the accident would have never happened”. And like ” What if I encouraged him to go to the doctor six months ago like I first thought – cancer could have been found sooner and he could have been saved”. We started running from reality. The truth, which can’t change.
Fourth Stage: Depression
The next stage is ‘Depression”. It is a commonly accepted form of grief. In fact, most people associate depression immediately with grief – as it is a “present” emotion.
It represents the emptiness we feel when we are living in reality and realize the person or situation is gone or over.
In this stage, we might withdraw from life, feel numb, live in a fog, and not want to get out of bed. The world might seem too much and too overwhelming for us to face. We don’t want to be around others, don’t feel like talking, and experience feelings of hopelessness. We might even experience suicidal thoughts – thinking “what’s the point of going on?”
Last Stage: Acceptance
The last stage of grief identified by Kübler-Ross is acceptance.
Not in the sense that “it’s okay my husband died” rather, “my husband died, but I’m going to be okay.”
In this stage, our emotions may begin to stabilize. We re-enter reality. We come to terms with the fact that the “new” reality is that our partner is never coming back – or that we are going to succumb to our illness and die soon – and we are okay with that.
It’s not a “good” thing – but it’s something you can live with. It is definitely a time of adjustment and readjustment. There are good days, there are bad days, and then there are good days again.
In this stage, it does not mean we will never have another bad day – where you are uncontrollably sad. But, the good days tend to outnumber the bad days.
In this stage, we may lift from our fog, we start to engage with friends again, and might even make new relationships as time goes on. We understand your loved one can never be replaced, but we move, grow, and evolve into our new reality.
The fear of the people when our country’s corona count was 100, is not there when it is over 24+ Lakhs today.
In summary, in COVID-19 experience, first of all, we show our refusal to believe such a thing could happen. Even we denied us to that extent “Corona will not come to us”. Even it came, we repeatedly were in denial mode that it will not be spread to our place due to so many excuses like we used to drink hot water, our climatic conditions is very hot, etc.
Then once it enters and started affecting our day to day life we started getting angry. It was anything, like, death of beloved, death of relationships, anger over the loss of income, or the loss of independence life due to lockdown.
Then we started to bargain with GOD. Inwardly lamenting that the Corona may not have come and there should have been a lockdown at all. We started asking deal to GOD, but nothing happened. Our faith shattered. Trust betrayed. And then the stage started of “Depression”, where we started feeling mental pressure and losing everything. we feel helpless, we started to doubt our capabilities, we started losing faith in our doctors, who was researching for medicine day and night. And at last, we accepted, we are at the mercy of GOD, we accepted, we can only work, but the result is not in our hands. We started accepting that Corona is real, and it can hurt us, our relations, our entire society. We need to learn to live with Corona, which is the only solution.
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