Can America Find Closure for Caylee? | 3 Tips to Cope with Grief and Tragedy

Mourning the loss of a child is a burden that no parent should have to bare. Although Casey Anthony was found not guilty of the murder of her two-year-old daughter.  Americans across the country are angry at the loss of such innocence. With no other outlet for grief and anger, 500,000 American have sought to force their own justice through an online petition called ‘Caylee’s Law.” This federal law would make it possible for parents to be charged with a felony if they fail to report the death of a child within one hour, or fail to report a missing child within one day.

Displaced emotions and extreme outrage has engulfed the nation. It appears that many Americans feel justice for Caylee has gone unnoticed. As Americans mourn the loss of Caylee, this case brings to light the abused, abducted, missing and murdered children without receiving closure. So, how can people grieve Caylee’s death and manage anger in a healthy manner?

What is GRIEF?

Everyone experiences grief at some point in life. Grief is a common reaction to trauma, loss, and bereavement. Grief is usually associated with the death of a loved one; however, grief may also include loss of a job, financial stability, health, marriage, friendship, or dreams. According to Kubler-Ross, there are five stages of grief.

5 Stages of Grief:

1) Denial (this cannot be happening to me!)

2) Anger (why is this happening to me?) – So many Americans that are angry with Casey are at this stage!

3) Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…)

4) Depression (I don’t care anymore)

5) Acceptance (I’ve accepted whatever comes)

What are symptoms of Grief?

Grief affects people in a variety of ways. If you are struggling with grief you may experience the following symptoms derived from Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief:

1)  Disbelief/Shock – Shortly following a loss, it will be exceptionally difficult to accept the loss. A ‘not guilty’ verdict seemingly

shocked many American and was difficult to believe.

2)  Depression—Symptoms of depression are common when faced with tremendous loss and grief. Sadness, despair,

loneliness, emptiness, and hopelessness may intensify.

3)   Remorse – It is common to experience feelings of remorse or guilt when you loose a loved one. It is not unusual to have

feelings of frustration and anger during this phase of the grief cycle.

4)   Anxiety/Fear – Panic attacks may also become a focus when struggling with the grief process. Helplessness and anxiousness

are common symptoms of grief.

5)    Physical Symptoms – Grief an emotional and physical process. Somatic symptoms may emerge when faced with the grieving

process: muscle tension, insomnia, weight loss, weight gain, fatigue, or nausea.

What to do?

  1. Seek help: Grief counseling, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), EFT (Emotion Freedom Technique), CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and/or Support group.
  2. Develop a self-care program
  3. Surround yourself with a strong support system

When to seek help?

  1. If you feel suicidal or if you feel that you will harm yourself
  2. If you are unable to maintain normal, daily functioning
  3. If you blame yourself excessively
  4. If you feel disconnected or dissociated
  5. If you feel unusually numb
  6. If you cannot trust anyone

If you or someone you know are struggling with depression or anxiety as a result of grief, contact a therapist or counselor for help.

NOTE: Freely redistribute this resource, electronically or in print, provided you leave the authors, name, credentials, and contact information below intact and include a link to this article.