Grief and Bargaining | Counseling | Therapy

Grief and Bargaining

Alex Robboy , CAS, MSW, ACSW, LCSW — Founder & executive director

Grief and Bargaining image

Grief and Bargaining your loved one has faced or is facing a long illness. Of course you seek to avoid this pain. Why wouldn’t you? Who really wants look directly into the face of pain and suffering? During the bargaining stage of grief, you may find yourself asking God for your desired circumstances in return for some type of favor or promise. You may think or say things like, “Lord, if you’ll only bring him/her back, I’ll never drink/smoke/yell again.” You may plead for one more chance to show this person how much you loved them. You may suffer with feelings of guilt regarding something you said or did (or didn’t do) during the course of your relationship with this person. Many people experience this phenomenon. It is all perfectly natural.

This pleading need to alter circumstances actually serves an important purpose; it gently introduces your mind to a harsh, new reality. Bargaining often occurs before your lose your loved one but can occur afterward as well. The act of bargaining seeks to buy some semblance of control in a time when you may be feeling totally out of control. It is a natural stage in the multi-faceted grieving process and provides time for the mind to become accustom to change and loss. Right now, you may find the whole situation just too overwhelming to accept right away. For it is difficult to change what things you can in your life, until you accept the things you can’t. And the road to acceptance is always a journey, tailored to each individual.

After any significant loss, it is important to focus on the basics of self-care. Many of the coping tips listed here should be followed throughout your life, not just during times of grief and loss, however, during this aggravating time, when dealing with thoughts of grief and bargaining, these tips will prove ever more important:

* Accept where you are in your life right now. You have (or are about to) suffer a major loss. Many people feel as if they are “loosing their grip,” under these circumstances. You will always carry the wish in your heart that your loved one might return to you, and that is because you love them and cannot bear losing them. It is okay to feel what you are feeling.
* Sleep 8 hours at night, and take a 20-minute nap daily, whenever possible. After a long illness or even a traumatic event, sleep has been lost and routines broken. Without sleep, the mind cannot process thoughts and feelings properly. Sometimes you may feel you cannot sleep for trying—don’t worry and don’t try too hard. The goal here is to rest your mind. So if sleep does not come easily then run a warm bath, and add some lavender oil. Lavender has been used for centuries to calm and replenish the mind, and you can obtain lavender products in almost any grocery store. Turn down the lights and light a few candles. Turn off the television and ask for quiet within your home. Too much light and noise pollute the senses. Soft classical or instrumental music may help, but avoid radio stations with jarring commercials. Take a hot cup of Chamomile tea with you, which also sooths the soul. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these elements ultimately aggravate your nerves. After your bath, if you still cannot sleep, read a book in bed. Sipping a small glass of milk or soymilk will fill your belly and may put you in a restful state.
* Plan a walk or some form of exercise. After an adequate night’s sleep, awake at a set time. Exercise helps to add balance in your life. You have been experiencing a great deal of stress lately, and exercise is the ultimate stress reliever. Twenty minutes to a half hour each day ascertains that you have done all you can to cope in a positive way with this tragic event, and this activity will boost your immunity, strengthening body, mind, and soul.
* Try to eat five small meals per a day. You may have been so concerned with others lately that you have not paid attention to your own nutritional needs. Smaller meals are easier to digest. Do not judge yourself if you fail to eat or eat too much once or twice. It is never too late to start over. Stay away from too much sugar as these foods have a tendency to make you feel tired and worn down. Take a vitamin supplement, and remember to take any prescribed medications. When preoccupied with strenuous circumstances and in environments where you have been helping others, it is common to forget about your own healthcare needs.
* Pace yourself, but do not push yourself. It is okay to go about your activities, but take it easy. You may feel that doing some work puts your mind at ease, but put off any lengthy projects or campaigns for another time. You may need some time to process your current circumstances. Allow yourself this time. It is okay to ask for help or employ someone to assist you will household tasks. And always accept reasonable help when offered.
* Forgive yourself. No matter what you have been through, you are not a bad person. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when dealing with tragic situations surrounding loss, sorrow, and grief. Learn to leave regret in the past and move forward.
* Talk about any feelings of guilt or anger with an objective support person. In addition to speaking with a trained therapist or clergyman, stay close to family and friends. Allow friends, family, and others to love and support you. The balance of the universe depends, not only on caring for and loving others, but also on allowing yourself to be cared for in your times of need. This type of nurture prepares you, not only to move forward, but to do so productively and positively.

Grief and bargaining / Grief Therapy in Philadelphia 267 324 9564

InPerson Therapy & Virtual Counseling: Child, Teens, Adults, Couples, Family Therapy and Support Groups. Anxiety, OCD, Panic Attack Therapy, Depression Therapy, FND Therapy, Grief Therapy, Neurodiversity Counseling, Sex Therapy, Trauma Therapy: Therapy in Providence RI, Philadelphia PA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM, Mechanicsville VA