Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Initial Response to Loss: Shock

H. Norman Wright identifies six aspects of loss that you will likely experience during the separation or divorce process. The first is shock.

"The very first response that you go through in any kind of loss or crisis is shock. It's a feeling of numbness, and it protects you from the sharpness of the pain that you're going to experience."

Susan shares, "I remember the night he told me he was leaving me. I was too shocked to cry. I walked around in shock for about six weeks. I don't know when it hit me."

Harriet says, "When I found out he was having an affair, the shock must have taken over right away because there was a sense of unrealness."

The sense of numbness or incomprehension is your body's natural defense mechanism to protect you from the reality of the situation. Yes, you do have to face that reality at some point, but during the initial days of trauma, your body is specially designed to only let you deal with a small number of things at a time.

God created you to be a complex, unique individual. The Bible says you are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). God takes care of you in ways that you don't even realize. If you are in shock right now, it is good for two reasons. One, your body is protecting you and, two, you have begun the first stage of loss, which means you have already started on the road to healing.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Psalm 139:14).

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