The five stages of grief
Denial: "This cannot be happening to me."
Anger: Why is this happening? Who's to blame?
Bargaining: "Make this not happen, and I will ____."
Depression: "I'm too sad for anything to do."
Acceptance: "I'm at peace about what happened."
It may be helpful to remember that these emotions are normal and will pass. Not everyone who grieves has to go through each stage. That's fine. You don't have to go through every stage to heal, contrary to popular belief. Some people can resolve their grief without having to go through each stage. These stages are not necessarily sequential. Don't be concerned about how you should feel or what stage you need to be at.
Kubler-Ross never meant for these stages to be a set of rules that can be used by everyone who grieves. She said that the five stages of grief were not meant to be a way for people to put their messy emotions in neat boxes. These are common responses to loss. However, there is no one typical loss. Each person's grief is unique.
Grief can be a rollercoaster ride
Instead of thinking of grieving as a series, you might think of it as a rollercoaster. It is full of ups, downs, highs, and lows. The ride is rougher at the beginning. However, the lows can be more severe and last longer.
Although the difficult times should get less intense and shorter with time, it is still hard to deal with a loss. We may feel strong grief even years later, particularly at events like a wedding or birth.
Although loss can affect everyone differently, most people experience these symptoms during grief. Remember that most feelings you may experience during the initial stages of grief are normal. This includes feeling crazy, having bad dreams, and questioning your spiritual or religious beliefs.
Emotional signs of grief
Feelings of shock and disbelief. It can be difficult to accept the loss. It is possible to feel depressed, numb, or have difficulty believing the loss actually happened. For example, if a pet dies or someone you care about has died, you might keep waiting for them to appear even though they are gone.
Sadness. Deep sadness is the most common symptom of grief. Feelings of sadness, despair, yearning or deep loneliness can be felt. Sometimes you may feel emotional unstable or cry often.
Guilt. It is possible to feel regretful or guilty about certain actions or words. Some feelings can make you feel guilty, such as feeling relieved after someone dies from a long and difficult illness. Even though it was totally out of your control, you may feel guilty about not doing more to prevent your loss.
Fear. Significant loss can cause a lot of anxiety and fear. You may feel helpless or anxious if you have lost your partner, your job or your home. You might even experience panic attacks. Fears about your mortality and the possibility of living without a loved one or facing all of the responsibilities that come with it can be triggered by the death of a close friend.
Anger. You may feel angry or resentful, even if it was not your fault. You may feel angry at God, God, doctors, or the person who abandoned you after you lose a loved one. Sometimes you may feel the need for someone to be held responsible for the injustice done to your loved one.
Although we often view grief as an emotional process, it can also lead to physical problems.
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Aches and Pains