What Happens Next: The Five Stages of Post-Election Grief

The United States is in a period of mourning. Perhaps because Hillary Clinton lost, perhaps because of the uproar filling both social media and the streets . . . most certainly not because of the end of the campaign process. It’s been a long road, and in the end, as far apart as the parties may seem, many of us now stand side-by-side in the human experience of grief:

So, here you have it, The Five Stages of Grief of a Clinton OR Trump Supporter:

1. Denial

Clinton Supporters:

Come on. Let’s be honest: how many times did you refresh the live election map results before letting the outcome sink in?

Trump Supporters:

Yeah, that. *pointing up* I know you were in shock, too.

It’s normal to rationalize overwhelming emotions, and denial is our mind’s first defense against the positively or negatively unfathomable.

2. Anger

Clinton Supporters:

Did I mention the protests in the streets? Eventually, this more active and targeted reaction is sure to take charge.

Trump Supporters:

That feeling when you are a millennial or minority or female and everyone is saying you hate millennials or minorities or females. This too shall pass; through demonstrations of kindness, this too shall pass.

3. Bargaining

Clinton Supporters:

If only the popular vote overpowered the electoral college. If only we could work towards impeachment. If only the power to vote didn’t leave us feeling so helpless.

Trump Supporters:

Has there ever been an election so clouded in fear? Vulnerable and afraid, we only dare whisper our glee in muted smiles, too wary of accusations to celebrate our President Elect’s victory.

4. Depression

Clinton Supporters:

I don’t know whether emotional support service calls increased post-election, but I can guarantee emergency dental visits skyrocketed. The stinging pains of an election.

Trump Supporters:

There is a second type of depression, one that comes not from personal sorrow but from sympathy for others’ pain. Amidst post-election violence and inexcusable acts of hate, many Trump supporters are surely feeling this second type of pain.

5. Acceptance

Where two camps unite:

Perhaps you have come to accept the results already, and have made plans for how to take action in the face of this reality. Perhaps you are still lost in the ‘what ifs.’ Wherever you are, though, please remember: Trump and Clinton supporters alike, we are in this together.

We may progress through these stages at varied paces. We may feel alone, excited, or afraid. But, in time, we must accept what has already happened – that which we cannot change - in order to discover and create the beautiful possibility of #whathappensnext.

The present is here, the future forever in our hands.

The doctor said she would live in a nursing home, confined to a wheelchair, crippled by pain; that was 13 years ago. Instead, Mirissa D. Price is a 2019 DMD candidate at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, spreading pain-free smiles, writing through her nights, and, once again, walking through her days.

Stay up to date with Mirissa’s writing at https://mirissaprice.wordpress.com/and follow Mirissa on Twitter or Facebook.

Follow Mirissa D. Price on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Mirissa_D_Price

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