Many Americans are currently grieving the inhuman treatment and consequential death of Mr. George Floyd. Even though coping with grief and loss is never easy, counselors will tell you that there are five basic stages of grief. It should also be noted that these stages don’t always happen in order, nor does every grieving person go through all stages. Everyone grieves differently. So today, I want to share an overview of these five stages.
The first stage of grief is denial. You are shocked. You just cannot believe this has happened. I like so many Americans just could not believe the video of Mr. George Floyd’s horrific encounter with police. Shock says this type of disregard for human life can’t be happening in America in 2020. I, like so many American’s experienced the first stage of grief which is denial.
The second stage of grief is anger. Once the reality of what has taken place sets in, anger often follows. This second stage of grief can range from frustration to rage. Grief counselors will tell you that this anger can be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends, family, and most certainly foes. This is why we have experienced so much anger in the days following Mr. George Floyd’s death. Because, many people are stuck in the anger stage of grief. Let me digress and say that grief is never an excuse to break the law. However, I too, even as a pastor, am trying to process my own feeling of anger as I grieve Mr. George Floyd and the fact that this type of behavior is still happening in America in 2020.
The third stage of grief is bargaining. In this stage, the person experiencing the loss finds themselves feeling helpless and without control and makes a lot of “what if” and “if only” statements. During this particular stage of grief, it can be quite difficult to remain focused because your mind is filled with so many unanswered questions.
The fourth stage of grief is depression. In my opinion, this type of depression can be described as a prolonged sense of sadness. It can be compared to being under a perpetual dark cloud. Make no mistake about it, there are many Americans dealing with depression today. They are depressed, because we are still dealing with this level of inhuman treatment and racism in 2020.
The fifth and final stage of grief is acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t mean you have completely gotten over the loss. It doesn’t mean you are beyond the pain. Acceptance means you have gotten to a place emotionally and mentally that you are now ready to start the process of healing. And truthfully, as it relates to Mr. George Floyd, many Americans are not there yet.
Yes, many Americans are grieving the inhuman treatment and consequential death of George Floyd. Everyone grieves differently. We are experiencing varying degrees of shock, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I leave you today with Proverbs 31:8-9, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. (9) Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Blessings!!!