What are the 7 stages of grief?

Kate BucklandBlog

Grief isn’t just about death. We grieve many things – the loss of a loved one, the death of a pet, relationship breakdowns and divorce, imprisonment, injury or illness, losing a job… the list goes on. In fact, the Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale details 43 life events that can cause us to grieve. Knowing what are the 7 stages of grief is useful, because everyone goes through periods of grief in life. Note that there are also models where there are 5 stages of grief – both are useful. Having an awareness of the 7 stages of grief won’t stop you from grieving in a stressful situation, but seeing as the way we grieve might not always feel like it makes sense, it might help you to understand where you’re at, and why. We all experience grief differently – you might feel scared, angry, you may cry, or you might feel none of these. While grief isn’t linear, there generally is a pattern to the process of grieving. To begin with we need to know exactly what grief is. According to the Grief Recovery Method, “Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.” Remember, if you’re grieving, it’s okay to feel what you are feeling, and it’s okay to reach out for help and support if you feel like you need it. You’re not alone. Scroll to the bottom of this articles for a list of places that can help you. Shock and denial This is the beginning of the grieving process. Something lifechanging has happened, be it the death of a loved, a divorce, foreclosure on your home, a change in health or something else. You might feel numb and struggle to believe what has happened. Pain and guilt This is where you might feel like the loss or change is unbearable. You might feel guilty about what has happened, or because you feel that you are a burden to others at this time. Anger and bargaining At this point you might feel angry, and lash out or have outbursts of anger. You might also bargain with god or another higher power that if they just rectify the situation, you will do anything they ask, you are desperate for them to relieve the feelings you are experiencing. Depression This can often present as a period of reflection and withdrawal. You may feel lonely and isolated. Remember, you are not alone and it’s okay to ask for help. The upward turn You may feel that you are in a calmer and more relaxed state as the feelings of pain and anger start to subside. Reconstruction and working through At this point, you will start to feel like you can begin to put the pieces of your life back together and move forward. That isn’t to say you won’t still experience moments of sadness, but you feel you can now start to put one foot in front of the other and look … Read More