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5 Stages of Grief

When you experience a loss in your life, it is expected that you will grieve. Even those who say that they are alright will touch on the five stages of grief as they seek to move on and put their lives back together.

Grief is not a one-day or two-day thing. People who say that it is are still in the first stage of it. Do yourself a favor and be patient in your grief. Trying to rush the process doesn’t work. The five stages of grief are detailed below.

Denial

This is the first stage of grief. You might think that denial is your way of coping but it is how you survive in the first few days after a loss. Denial keeps you moving to do the hard things like plan funerals and deal with financial issues. You may even shun the protective arms of relatives who are trying to comfort you because you are not yet ready to accept the loss.

Anger

It seems inappropriate to yell at the dead, but it is part of the grief process. You feel hurt because this person has left you. In a divorce, you are angry that love has died and the relationship had to end. Many are angry at God for allowing such a thing to happen in their lives.

Bargaining

Sometimes this seems to happen first. On your way to the hospital or court, you believe everything is a bad dream and someone just has to wake you up. You pray, beg and plead that the circumstances be changed. You’ll promise everything including the moon in exchange for having that person back in your life.

Depression

This stage is the one you worry about. Loved ones can stay in a depressive state for a long time. Or, they may not come out of it and threaten to take their own life to stop feeling the pain. Depression is normal after a loss. Sitting in a chair in a dark room for days on end may be the way you meet this stage. Sometimes, when the depression gives way to suicidal thoughts, the intervention of a professional is needed to get them through to the last stage.

Acceptance

What you have lost is gone and not coming back. In the acceptance stage, that is when the tears can finally come. You might even think that they will not stop but eventually they will. During the acceptance stage, the loss is felt so keenly you might feel a part of you is dying also. There is fear in acceptance. It means that you have to move on past the loss and rebuild your life. Having family and friends around to lean on will see you through to a new life.

Grief is not easy to deal with but everyone will experience it in some form if they live long enough. Know the five grief stages so you can help a friend or yourself transition past a loss.

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