An amputation is not a death. Losing a hand, foot, arm or leg is not the same thing as losing a loved one — or is it? After all, the lost body part has been a part of us our entire lives. It was part of our identity. Besides the obvious disabling effects, an amputation can make induce grief the same way as a death, according to the Amputee Coalition of America.
In fact, an article on the organization’s website says that those who experience an amputation often go through the famous five stages of grief usually associated with mourning a loved one or dear friend. These stages are:
1. Denial. This stage is more common among those who sustain a sudden amputation, such as in a workplace or auto accident.
2. Anger. The victim may try to find someone to blame for the amputation, even those who are not responsible and may be trying to help.
3. Bargaining. This can include trying to talk the doctor to postpone the operation, or praying for a miracle.
4. Depression. Though this is different from clinical depression, the symptoms can be similar: sleeping problems, feelings of hopelessness and a negative view of the world around you.
5. Acceptance. Eventually, most victims of amputation are able to accept what happened and move on with their lives.
Of course, as with those dealing with a death, many people benefit from professional help coming to terms with the loss of a hand, foot or limb. Beyond this, the physical recovery can be expensive, slow and painful. Victims of negligence should not have bear this burden themselves.