Stages of Grief

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How we cope with grief is as 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

Denial lessens the immediate shock of the loss, numbing our emotions.  For most people experiencing grief, this stage is a temporary reaction that carries us through the first wave of pain.


Anger

Reality and its pain may begin to emerge when we are not ready. The intense emotion is deflected, redirected and expressed as anger. 


Bargaining

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"

Depression

You may feel like there is an empty space in your life, in your home, in your heart, and in your world. 


Acceptance

Coping with loss is ultimately a deeply personal experience. The best thing you can do is to allow yourself to feel the grief as it comes over you.