Grief is a very natural response to losing someone or something that’s important to you. You may be feeling a variety of emotions, like sadness or loneliness. Everyone grieves differently, but by learning to better understand your emotions, taking care of yourself, and seeking support, you can heal.
Stages of Grief
How we cope with grief is unique and no two people grieve the same way, with the same intensity or for the same duration. The stages of grief are not meant to be a complete list of the emotions that can be felt. There is no particular order to the stages – even the progress through the stages is unique to the individual.
Denial lessens the immediate shock of the loss, numbing our emotions. For most people experiencing grief, this stage is a temporary reaction that carries them through the first wave of pain.
Reality and its pain may begin to emerge after a loss. This intense emotion is deflected, redirected and expressed as anger.
The normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability is often a need to regain control through a series of “If only” statements, such as:
"If only we had sought medical attention sooner"
"If only we had tried to be a better person toward them"
You may feel like there is an empty space in your life, in your home, in your heart, and in your world.
Coping with loss is ultimately and a deeply personal experience. The best thing you can do is to allow yourself to feel the grief as it comes over you.