The Stages Of Grief

  • Denial

    Denial is always the first stage of grief. You feel very overwhelmed with emotion. You feel like you're numb. It's basically a state of shock. Getting through the day can be difficult. This stage helps set a pace for accepting loss. We can only take on so much at a certain time. Denial makes the griever question how they can go on.
  • Anger

    Anger is a surface emotion that covers what the griever is feeling inside. Underneath the yelling is pain. The griever may take their anger out on others. There is no one to blame for the loss of a loved one, but the griever may feel the need to place blame and take out their anger on a family member, friend, or even a doctor. Anger is a natural part of the healing process that may be hard to cope with, but is necessary for eventual acceptance.
  • Bargaining

    This stage is all about "What if..." and "If only..." questions. The griever wonders if there was anything they could do to change the outcome. Of course they cannot, but they can't help but wonder. The griever just wishes for life to return to normal. Usually a feeling of guilt is associated with bargaining. The griever remains in the past and doesn't feel the pain or sorrow of the loss.
  • Depression

    This stage is primarily overwhelming sadness. Unless experienced, it's difficult to explain the deep loss the griever feels. There is a fog of intense sadness that doesn't seem like it will ever lift. This stage is also a realization that your loved one will not come back. A realization like that would naturally upset you.
  • Acceptance

    There is a high chance that a griever will never feel completely "okay" with the loss of a loved one. Acceptance isn't that. Acceptance is accepting the permanant reality that a loved one isn't coming back. Instead of returning to normal, the griever must learn to adapt to their new normal. The griever will have to make changes to readjust to their life. Acceptance is the final stage of grief that allows us to begin to live again.