The 5 Stages of Grief After Facing a Loss

Grieving is a natural part of life, but it’s never easy. How can you better understand what you may be feeling during this difficult time and learn how to cope better?

Have you ever heard of the 5 stages of grief? It’s a theory from Elisabeth Kübler-Ross that says we all experiences five stages when dealing with a loss.

Understanding the 5 stages can help you understand where you are in your journey to processing all that you’re going through. Let’s walk through the the 5 stages of grief after facing a loss together to gain a better perspective.

The 5 Stages of Grief After Facing a Loss

Let’s look at the 5 stages as a whole before we go over each one. The 5 stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Keep in mind that no two grieving processes are the same. Grieving is complicated, so don’t feel that you have to hit every stage to “do it right”.

1. Denial

When something traumatic happens to us, like a nasty divorce or a child’s death, we might not want to believe it’s really over. You might go into shock and deny the event occurred in order to protect yourself.

Everything feels overwhelming at this point and we might shut down in order to just get through the day. When you move through this phase, the emotions you tried to deny will start coming to the surface.

2. Anger

The first emotion after denial that you might feel very keenly is anger. It goes hand in hand with denial in that now you are lashing out instead of trying to push things aside.

You might lash out at loved ones, strangers, or even inanimate objects. Anger is another way that the pain in your heart expresses itself, so be kind to yourself.

3. Bargaining

At the bargaining stage, we might start asking what we could’ve done to prevent this painful trauma from happening. We might ask “what if I did XYZ?” or say “if only I had done more”.

By trying to strike a bargain, you’re looking to regain control of the situation. Make sure you don’t beat yourself up over “could haves” and “would haves” or try any rash actions.

4. Depression

Depression is expected after a loss. The depression you feel at this stage might seem like it will stretch on forever and that you’ll never be able to find the light at the end of the tunnel.

At this phase, it’s important to lean on your support group. Start looking for ways to get out of the house and take your mind off of things but also allow yourself to feel your feelings.

5. Acceptance

Acceptance is an important part of how to survive grief. Your loss isn’t diminished by accepting that it happened.

Accepting that your loss has occurred helps you reorganize your life after it’s been forever changed. Keep connecting with family, friends, and loved ones in order to adjust to your new life.

Coping with Grief

Understanding the 5 stages of grief after facing a loss gives you a perspective on what you’re going through during a difficult time. If you’re looking for support or have larger questions, reach out to us any time.

Looking for a church in the Plover area? We invite you to check us out.

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