Stages of Grief
Grief is a natural, healthy part of life. It is an emotional reaction to a significant loss in one's life. It is hard to watch someone you care about go through the stages of grief, especially when the grief is caused by death. Trying to rush someone through the process can cost you and them dearly. Everyone needs to move though the different stages at their own speed. Trying to rush someone through can cost you the friendship or love of someone dear to you. It can also cause the person you are trying to help to withdraw and lengthen the process. There is no time-line for grief, everyone is different, but it will start getting better as time goes on. As a friend of loved one of someone who is going through the stages of grief, the best thing you can do is let them go at their own pace and be there when they need you.
The stages of grief
There are differing opinions of the stages of grief. Some feel there are five and some say there are seven. I will be covering both so you can decide for yourself.
5 stages of grief
- denial - at this stage you deny the reality of the loss to avoid pain.
- anger - you lash out and lay the blame for you loss on others. Many times you become anger at the lost loved one for leaving you.
- bargaining - the person grieving tries to bargain with the powers that be. You try to trade your life for theirs or promise to change a behavior if only that person can be returned to you.
- depression - at this time you begin to fully realize how large your loss is and you become depressed. You tend to isolate yourself and focus on memories.
- acceptance - you begin to accept that your loved one is no longer there. This is where you begin to move on with your life.
7 Stages of Grief
- shock and denial - you cannot accept the loss. You react with numbed belief, the shock helps you through the next few days.
- pain and grief - when the shock begins to wear off you begin to feel incredible pain. You may have guilty feelings or remorse about things you have said or done. Or things you did not say or do.
- anger and bargaining - you begin to take your anger and frustrations of the loss out on others. You begin bargaining for the return of your loved one.
- depressions, reflection, and loneliness - this is when you realize the greatness of your loss. You begin thinking constantly about all of the things you did with your loved one. You focus on memories and become filled with a sense of emptiness.
- the upward turn - you are now adjusting to life on your own. You have become calmer and your depression begins to lessen.
- reconstruction and working through - your mind begins to work to find solutions to problems in your life that have occurred because of your loss. You begin to put your life back together, financially and otherwise.
- acceptance and hope - you have accepted the loss and are now dealing with the reality of your life. You begin to look forward to good times and begin to find joy in living once more.
- Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. - From a headstone in Ireland
- I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love. - Leo Buscaglia
- Every human being must find his own way to cope with severe loss. The only joy of a true friend is to facilitate whatever method he chooses. - Caleb Carr
- If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to Heaven and bring you home again. - Unknown author
- Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pour through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. - Unknown author
- Time is a physician that heals every grief. - Diphilus
- God gave us memories so that we may have roses in December. - James M. Barrie
- How Do You Grieve the Death of a Narcissistic Mother...
Societal taboos, unresolved anger, and flying monkeys may complicate the scapegoat's grief for his or her narcissistic personality disordered mother.
- Best Ways to Support a Grieving Loved One
How can you support a loved one through their grieving process? As people grieve, they need the assurance and support of those closest to them.
- The Five Stages of Grief in Lament for a Son
A brief look at a book that describes the stages of grief the author went through in the time just after his son's death.
- Grief and How to Deal with Loss
The stages of grief and how to help and understand the stages. A guide to help supressed grief .
- When Mother Was Dying - Grief, Death and Dying
A daughter finds her father cleaning the attic while her mother is dying and along with recall of her childhood, contemplates her mother’s death documenting with poetic prose different memories that are combined as a trilogy.
Coping With Grief
"[W]ounds of the spirit... are most gently soothed and made whole by the passing years. Under the old scars flows again the calm, healthful tide of life.... Under a great loss the heart impetuously cries that it can never be happy again, and perhaps in its desperation says that it wishes never to be comforted. But though angels do not fly down to open the grave and restore the lost, the days and months come as angels with healing in their wings. Under their touch aching regret passes into tender memory; into hands that were empty new joys are softly pressed; and the heart that was like the trees stripped of its leaves and beaten by winter's tempests is clothed again with the green of spring." ~George S. Merriam
When I first saw this quote by George S. Merriam I passed it on by. Why? I thought it was much to long to use in an article.
However I kept going back to it in my mind. I finally decided to include it in this article.
It is a hopeful quote, at least it is to me. It gives hope that one day the pain and grief you are feeling will soften into wonderful memories. You will be able to think of your loved one who has passed with love and amusement.
You pain will be soften and you will be able to think of them with love.
She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts.— George Eliot
© 2010 Susan Hazelton