What Are the Five Stages of Grief and Loss?

The thought of losing someone close to you is something that is almost impossible to comprehend. When it does happen, you may find it difficult to come to terms with your feelings, let alone understand them.

Even people who have experienced the loss of a loved one in the past may experience the exact same emotions again. This is a completely normal human reaction to loss. However, if you haven’t lost a loved one before, the magnitude of emotions that come with loss can be overwhelming and you might not know what to make of it.

Losing someone you’re close to is never easy, but learning about the emotions you feel during a difficult time like this may help you and your family heal. Here’s a look at the five stages of grief and loss.

1. Denial

This is usually the first of the five stages of grief and loss. After your loved one’s funeral service, you may enter a state of denial.

When in denial, you may try to cope with your loss by denying your loved one’s passing. During this time, you may feel numb and feel like it’s difficult to move on with life. Even though this might feel like a hopeless situation, denial can help you slowly come to terms with your loss.

Once the feelings you’ve repressed after losing your loved one resurface, the denial stage will have helped prepare you to overcome them so you can start healing.

2. Anger

Sometimes, you may feel angry after losing a loved one. The passing of a loved one can feel very unfair, and this may invoke intense feelings of frustration but these feelings simply arise to mask how you feel under the surface.

Feeling angry may seem like an irrational way to react but this is a normal part of mourning. When you lose a loved one, you may feel like they’ve left you behind, making you feel like you’ve lost your way, or you may feel angry at yourself for not being able to prevent your loved one’s passing.

This feeling of anger will eventually subside and you can find peace and move on with the mourning process.

3. Bargaining

During this stage of grief, you may start to turn to a higher power and pray for things to go back to how they used to be.

Also, you may find yourself asking questions like “What if I did something differently?” or saying things like “If only I did this…”. Bargaining is a result of wanting to change things that are outside your control.

During this stage, it’s important to remind yourself that there are things in this world that you can’t control and you should try to stop being hard on yourself.

4. Depression

Eventually, the reality of losing your loved one slowly starts to surface. When this happens, you may feel intense sadness that feels like it may last forever.

The depression stage can be very difficult and may last for a long time, so it’s important to seek professional help or talk to a friend or family member about your feelings if you start to lose control of your emotions and feel overwhelmed.

5. Acceptance

This is the final stage of grief. Reaching the acceptance stage won’t always mean that you have come to terms with the loss of your loved one; it’s the stage where you start to accept the passing of your loved one.

You may still grieve your loss, but you learn to grow your life around the grief and slowly start to enjoy life again, while still keeping your loved one fresh in your memory.

You don’t have to deal with the five stages of grief and loss alone

Different people experience grief differently. You may process the loss of a loved one differently than your friends and family but the overwhelming sense of loss can be the same.

Loved ones are irreplaceable, and you may feel like you don’t have the courage to mourn when they pass. But you don’t have to deal with your grief alone.

During this difficult time, share your feelings with those closest to you and try doing activities that you find enjoyable to help relieve some of the pain and come to terms with your loss. And if you need professional guidance, don’t hesitate to contact Devlin Funeral Home today.

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