Everything You Need to Know About the Stages of Grief

By: Kanzy Nada

One day they are there hugging you and giving you life advice then suddenly they are not. It’s as if they disappeared into thin air. They either chose this upon themselves or they didn’t have the honor of making the choice but either way may all the souls that left us rest in peace.

Nobody really knows how their departure affects other people around them.

Let me just say this, nobody ever gets over someone’s death.

Let’s picture taking a bite out of an apple, it won’t grow back and fill this space ever again, and that’s what happens when you lose a loved one, you lose a piece of your heart with them.

It’s an experience that could traumatize you forever if it not dealt with properly. Some seem like they have got over it quickly, others seem like they won’t get over it ever, but in reality no one has gotten over it.

Grieving is different for everyone but there are some basic stages that a grieving person has passed through.  

The popular psychiatrist and visionary death-and-dying expert Elizabeth Kubler-Ross has made 5 stages of grief that everyone goes by these days. It goes to the extent that if a person finds himself grieving in a different way he feels like he’s not doing it right. But in reality there’s not a wrong or right way to grieve.


First, Denial:

The first thing that comes to a person’s mind when they learn of the shocking news is “I can’t believe it, this can’t be happening”.

Which is totally normal, we humans are very vulnerable creatures and this stage is nothing but a mere defense mechanism that we use to protect ourselves from the horrid realization that this person is truly gone.

“There’s a grace in denial, it’s nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle”


Second, Anger:

As the effect of the first stage begins to wear off, reality begins to sink in deep. You may not be ready to deal with what has happened so the pain becomes anger and rage.

You may take this anger out on the person you have lost, although you know that they had no hand in this, but still you lash out on them.

You may take it out on friends, family or even complete strangers just for the sake of making yourself feel better.

Or you could be angry with god for taking your loved one and not giving them a second chance in life, and it’s also completely normal that a person grieving may go through a spiritual crisis.

And most common of all, you’ll be angry with yourself and you’ll be consumed with guilt thinking that you could have done something to save them.


Third, Bargaining:

This is the “what if” stage.

“What if I devote the rest of my life, God, to helping others? Can I then wake up and find out that this has all been some terrible dream?”

It’s the stage where we escape the reality of what’s happening and it’s usually driven by extreme guilt, we’re trying to fix what has happened

“What if we had sought medical attention sooner?” “What if we had gotten a second opinion from another doctor?” “What if I had tried to be a better person?”

We may ask that no more harm happens to our family or friends, or ask if we’ll meet our loved ones again someday.


Fourth, Depression:

The worst of all.

This stage occurs when everything finally sinks in. the thought of not seeing your loved one anymore begins to really kill you.

You may not sleep or eat well. You won’t have motivation to do anything, you would want to die to meet your loved one but then again this is completely normal.

“Grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined.”

Depression in not a sign of mental illness, it’s totally normal to experience severe sadness when you have lost someone you love.

Depression will come in and serve its purpose in your grieving journey and then leave you.

But as you grow older and stronger it may pay a little visit to check up on you, but no worries, it’ll leave again.


Fifth and final stage, Acceptance:


“I’ll never be okay with losing you, but I am getting on with life”

Acceptance doesn’t mean that the person is okay with the loss, but just that they have realized that nothing could change what has happened and nothing they could do will bring back their loved ones.

No one will ever feel okay about losing someone they love, but instead they learn to accept the new permanent reality.

“Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad ones.”


Let’s just forget all of this.

Grieving is not steps that every single person goes through.

We are all different, the person we lost has meant different sentimental values for us.

Some may go through the stages of grief back and forth and the cycle may never end.

Some may jump straight to acceptance.

Some may find it so overwhelming at the depression stage and go back to anger, and it may even lead to suicide.

Who knows what every person deals with?

It’s not a rulebook that should be followed, and you are definitely not doing it wrong if you haven’t followed these stages.

Take it from me, I personally didn’t go through it that certain way.

I did it my own way, and I have survived my terrible loss.

And may we all find comfort in the fact that the people we lost loved us and would want us to be happy right now, for us and for them.


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