Stages of Grief and Loss

By April 2, 2015 Health Tips No Comments

The grieving process usually consists of the following stages.

Note that not everyone goes through all these stages.

Grieving is a normal part of life.

  1. Denial and Shock
    At first, it may be difficult for you to accept your own dying or the death of a loved one. As a result you will deny the reality of death. However, this denial will gradually diminish as you begin to express and share your feelings about death and dying with others.
  2. Anger
    During this stage the most commonly question asked is “why me?”. You are angry at what you perceive to be the unfairness of death and you may project and displace your anger unto others. When given some social support and respect, you will eventually become less angry and able to move into the next stage of grieving.
  3. Bargaining
    You may try to bargain and offer to give up an enjoyable part of their lives in exchange for the return of health or the lost person.
  4. Guilt
    You may find yourself feeling guilty for things you did or didn’t do prior to the loss. Forgive yourself. Accept your humanness.
  5. Depression
    You may at first experience a sense of great loss. Mood fluctuations and feelings of isolation and withdrawal may follow. It takes time for you, to gradually return to your old self and become socially involved in what’s going on around you.
  6. Loneliness
    As you go through changes in your social life because of the loss, you may feel lonely and afraid. The more you are able to reach out to others to maintain relationships or make new friends, the more this feeling lessens.
  7. Acceptance
    Acceptance does not necessarily mean happiness. Instead you accept and deal with the reality of the situation.
  8. Hope
    Eventually you will reach a point where remembering will be less painful and you can begin to look ahead to the future and more good times.

The goal of the grieving process is learning to live with loss, which is a part of life. You do not forget the person who has died, nor stop loving him or her, but you can grow to accept the death and your feelings about it, and move on with your own life. In the case of death of someone you love, you may find the most difficult stage of grief will occur six months to a year afterward.

If you find you are still struggling and unable to move forward then you should make an appointment to see your GP.