Five Stages of Grief

When you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, emotions can come in waves. One moment you think you are fine, the next you are sobbing, angry, and devastated. Taking time to understand your feelings and the stages of grief will help you cope, celebrate treasured memories, and move forward with life.

The Five Stages of Grief

1. Denial
Shock and disbelief. You can’t believe they are gone. Are you sure? Is a typical question, needing to see or hear for yourself. This stage may last a few moments, days, or more.

2. Anger
Why did you leave me?! Hurt, feelings of abandonment, injustice, and loss surface. Anger may be directed toward the deceased, the world, or even yourself.

3. Bargaining
“If I had only” thoughts circulate in your mind. This loss hurts, how could I have prevented this pain?

4. Depression
Feelings of numbness, inward anger, and intense sadness.

5. Acceptance
The dark cloud of anger, intense sadness, and mourning begins to lift. The loss seems real, undeniable, and nonnegotiable.

There are many strong and uncomfortable feelings associated with grief. You may feel anger, abandonment, fear, guilt, and depression. Facing these intense emotions can be very difficult. Failing to work through the five stages of grief is actually more stressful and strenuous on your body, mind, and spirit. The best way to work through grief is to face your feelings, do not try to hide how you feel, let it out. Healing will take place when you allow yourself to move through your feelings and all the stages of grief.

Reach out for support, get enough hugs, and know you are cared for.