While grief can be divided in to stages in theory, remember that people experience and cope with grief in different ways and there is no ‘right’ way to grieve.
Amputees will experience grief, you may have survived your accident or illness but now you may find yourself grieving for the life you had and the future you had planned. You may struggle with dependence after a long period of functioning autonomously. You also may struggle with fears of rejection by your loved ones and ridicule from the public. Feelings of guilt often occur after amputation. You may feel guilt over how your family will be affected and many other “What if” and “I should have” thoughts. Others around you may express anger at you for what happened. Remember that they are grieving too and they will feel their own guilt: guilt over their own “What if” and “I should have” thoughts.
You may have heard of grief stages. The stages are not necessarily fixed in order and duration; in fact the phases may overlap. To help you understand the process of grieving the stages of grief are outlined below.
- Denial and Isolation: “I don’t want to talk about it” “The doctor’s will find a solution before surgery”
- Anger: “I don’t deserve this” “I only have diabetes because my doctor is a fool”
- Bargaining: “God if you’re out there you’ll help me”
- Depression: “What’s the point, my life’s over”
- Acceptance: “This is the reality, I’m not dead yet so I should keep on living”
While grief can be divided in to stages in theory, remember that people experience and cope with grief in different ways and there is no ‘right’ way to grieve. Grief will lessen no matter how overwhelming it may be in the beginning.