Everyone has or will have experienced grief at some point in their lives. However, there are several different ways to grieve and every person has a different reaction and story. There are five stages of grief; denial & isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It takes a different amount of time for each person to go through the stages and may skip some stages - no person is the same. 

Stages of Grief

Stage 1: Denial & Isolation

  • Often denying that the loss of loved one occurred

  • Brain attempts to disconnect so the emotional pain is less severe

Stage 2: Anger

  • Often angry at the loved one for their death, even though logically, they are not at fault

  • Can be angry at self for not doing more, saying more, etc.

  • Can be angry at a religious figure for taking the loved one's life away

Stage 3: Bargaining

  • Person suffering a loss of loved one will often feel like they can bargain to minimize emotions

  • Can try to bargain with "if" statements

    • "I will be a better person if  this person lives"​

    • "Dear God, you can take me instead if you spare them"

    • "If the doctor had done more"

    • "If I had noticed"

Stage 4: Depression

  • Typically occurs once the realization has set in that the loved one is truly gone

  • The loss begins to feel more clear and less overwhelming

  • People will often withdraw from society and isolate themselves

Stage 5: Acceptance

  • Arrives at a different time and looks different for everyone

  • Ultimately, the realization that the pain will never truly go away but will lessen over time

Grief: Loss of Friend Resources

Grief: Loss of Parent Resources

Additional Resources

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