Things You Should Know About the Five Stages of Grief

Things You Should Know About the Five Stages of Grief

Though inevitable, the pain of grief may be intense.

Given the intensity of your suffering, you may be curious about the typical range of emotions accompanying grieving and how long your feelings of loss will remain.

Educating yourself about the grieving process and the five stages of grief

will help you be better prepared for any time you require grief support.

The five stages of grief reflect that everyone goes through five distinct phases following the loss of a loved one.

The first stage of grief is denial.

This initial stage occurs after an individual has just learned about the death of a loved one.

It follows by the individual denying the reality of the information as a way to cope with the overwhelming feelings that come with loss.

The second stage is anger.

At this stage, the individual may angrily question the reasons for such an incident.

This anger they may feel may be directed at the deceased, themselves, the people around them or whoever may have caused the death of their loved one.

Followed by this is the third stage, bargaining.

Bargaining at this stage is characterized by a feeling of helplessness while you try to bargain with or beg a higher or the universe to bring back the deceased.

Below, let's take a look at the five stages of grief in depth so you can know how to navigate these stages if the situation arises.

Grief & Loss Therapists in Colorado

Jackie Erwin, LPC

Jackie Erwin, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Seth Boughton, SWC

Seth Boughton, SWC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Kristen Yamaoka-Los, LPC

Kristen Yamaoka-Los, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Marie Whatley LPCC

Marie Whatley LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Winnie Siwa, LPCC

Winnie Siwa, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Deb Corbitt, LPC

Deb Corbitt, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Laura Hunt, LPC

Laura Hunt, LPC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374

Denial

Delay in processing grief, brought on by denial, is a normal response to shock.

Denial is a natural response when someone close to you is diagnosed with a terminal disease, suffers a loss, or passes away.

This is portrayed in a sensation of numbness that one can experience after learning of the loss of someone dear.

In some instances, at first, some individuals act as if nothing has occurred.

It's also possible that you'll convince yourself it's not real.

When dealing with a traumatic event, it's common to avoid talking about it or acting as if it had never happened.

This is because it is hard to accept that someone significant is gone, even if you know they're dead.

Thus, denial allows you to justify your overwhelming feelings.

As a coping mechanism, denial might help you put off dealing with bad news.

This is a fairly normal human tendency that acts as a defensive mechanism to help you handle the initial shock of loss.

It helps many individuals cope with the tragedy of losing a loved one.

However, as the first of the five stages of grief begins to dissipate, you may start to heal, and the sensations you were repressing start to emerge to the surface.

Anger

As was previously said, grieving may cause a wide range of feelings.

Feeling angry after losing a loved one is normal because sometimes death seems very harsh and unjust.

Feelings of anger may take numerous shapes.

Outbursts, fury, intense grief, and solitude are all common manifestations of anger.

Also, if the deceased was too young or their death was avoidable, the loss might sting much more.

Also, you may feel anger at the deceased for abandoning you or at yourself for perceived shortcomings.

This response often results in feelings of guilt, which may make you further irritated as you attempt to work through your feelings.

You may start to wonder, "why me?" or "why now?".

Still, it's important to deal with the feelings (such as grief, hurt, frustration, or fear) that lie behind the anger being shown.

It might also help to discuss the cause of the anger and try to pin it down.

Bargaining 

When denial and anger fail to improve or modify the situation, the bereaved individual may resort to bargaining.

This stage is about retaining control even after the result.

It's like adding reasoning to delay the agony and anguish.

The majority of us have attempted negotiating at some time in our lives.

This often entails attempting to negotiate with a higher power.

They may promise to be better persons or do better things as long as their deceased loved one returns to life.

Bargaining is the stage in which one clings to an illogical hope despite the realities.

It might emerge publicly as panic or covertly as an inner discussion or prayer.

The implicit reciprocity is that they would not ask for anything else if their desire is fulfilled.

You may be tempted to beat yourself up at this point, but remember that this will not solve the problem.

People who experience this stage eventually realize that negotiating does not work and eventually progress to the depression stage.

Depression 

Following the aforementioned powerful feelings, sadness is the "quiet" stage of mourning in which you may accept these emotions and begin to cope with them.

It entails profound grief and yearning for the individual who has died.

This stage of grief is characterized by a sense of being lost and unsure of how to proceed.

You may feel overwhelmed and unable to face the world around you as the inevitable truth of your predicament becomes obvious.

This may come in waves, or you may feel trapped in the void left by your loss.

While this is a normal reaction to loss, dealing with depression while grieving may be lonely and alienating.

Acceptance, which is said to be the last stage of grief, is thought to be impossible without depression.

Acceptance 

Acceptance is not always a joyful or uplifting stage of grieving.

It doesn't imply you're beyond your feelings of sadness or grief.

It simply implies that you've accepted it and come to terms with what it means in your life.

People must be patient with the process at this point and recognize that there may be triggers and events that generate varied feelings relating to the loss.

Furthermore, such feelings may manifest in a variety of ways.

At this stage, you understand that you have had a significant transition in your life, which has shifted your perspective on a variety of issues.

Finally, acceptance is being ready to move on and live with grief.

Conclusion

Recognizing that no one feels grief in the same way, is essential to comprehending the five stages of grief.

Grief is incredibly individualized, and you may experience different emotions each time.

You may require many weeks, or your grieving may last for years.

If you decide you need grief support with the feelings and changes, a grief therapist is a good resource for dealing with it.

The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Resources 

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July 17th, 2024

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