Dr. Rachel: Dealing with grief after a loss

NEW ORLEANS -  The city of New Orleans is still holding onto that big loss for the Saints, so Dr. Rachel Reitan, our teaching doctor, is here to help us deal with the grief.

Dr. Rachel says grief is a natural response to loss.

There are seven stages of grief.

First comes shock, but shock doesn't last long, as denial sets in.

"Denial is a defense mechanism to shield the overwhelming emotions," says Dr. Rachel.

Next comes the pain, then the anger, and many people get stuck in these two stages.

The next step is bargaining. That's when we think about the "what-ifs."

What if we would have done this, or what if they would have done that.

And then the depression sets in. People succumb to the feelings of helplessness, sadness, and regret,

The main goal is the make it to the final step, acceptance. This is when you realize that nothing can be done to change what happened.

It's time move forward with our lives.

Everyone goes through these stages, but the important thing is to make it all the way through, and learn from the process.

If you have any medical questions, you can email drrachel@wgno.com.

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