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Understanding Grief – The Five Stages of Grief

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Understanding Grief – The Five Stages of GriefUnderstanding Grief – The Five Stages of GriefUnderstanding Grief – The Five Stages of Grief Understanding Grief – The Five Stages of Grief

What is Grief?

Grief is the inevitable feeling that accompanies any bereavement. And no matter what was the source of grief and what is the power of our feelings we have to experience, we have to go through a series of sequential steps, known as stages of grief.

Grief is necessary for us to make some efforts on the way to our inner rebirth. To help get through this difficult period of life, you should understand the work and the stages of grief.

Stages of Grief

header-1header-1 Denial

stages of grief denial

stages of grief denialThis is the first stage, coming directly after the loss. A person refuses to believe that there was something terrible and irreparable. Depending on the situation, one can either deny the very possibility, saying “This can not be!”, or hope that everything can be changed.

He can try to forget about the situation and act as if everything is the same. For example, a person continues to buy favorite food of someone who passed away, listen to his favorite music, etc. It can also be expressed in constant: “Can you repeat, please”, especially in the beginning. The person, who experiencing grief, can also continue to tell about the person who died as if he is still alive.

This behavior indicates the severity and depth of loss. It provides you with time to find some strength in order to put up with the inevitable loss, accept the situation.

Close ones should not argue and try to force “open his eyes” to the situation. It is better to take a neutral position: do not him in his illusions, but do not make the situation worse. Gradually, pain will be less severe, and the person will be able to find the strength to look at its face.

header-2header-2 Anger

stages of grief anger

stages of grief angerThis is the second stage. Now the person is aware that he had lost, and the power of this loss makes him angry at the whole world, which is not going through it with him. You try to find someone who is responsible for it. It allows you to redirect the negative energy, so pain becomes less severe. It is difficult to stay with such a person at this stage because in this condition he can attack his close ones and others. In is necessary to be patient in order to go through this crisis.

header-3header-3 Bargaining

At this stage, the person has an idea that it is still possible to correct that, if he really wants to, or it is sufficient to ask God, and then everything will be as usual again. You may try to buy off the grief, it is a kind of a deal with God, promising that you will change certain things if everything will be as before. At this stage, such cases of sudden turning to God take place when the person tries to atone for relatives’ sins or to sacrifice oneself for the sake of a loved one.

header-4header-4 Depression

stages of grief depression

stages of grief depressionAt this stage there is no hope, anger and atonement are useless. This is a long and difficult stage of grief. The person is no longer interested in what is happening around. Sometimes he may lose interest in the most important things for him, and he does not care about the closest people. There are no positive moments, life loses its meaning, the necessary things are done automatically, or there is no strength to perform any action.

Loved ones need to show some respect for the person’s grief, do not try to downplay its significance. If the person wants to talk about it, listen to him, you should understand what and how he is going through. And further, it is important to help the person to find some new meaning in his life. If the person will do something new, even not very practical, it will not be destructive for his psyche, but on the contrary, he can find the joy of life, you must support in his endeavor.

header-5header-5 Acceptance

stages of grief Acceptance

stages of grief AcceptanceGradually you accept this fact that your loved one is gone forever, and you begin to act more consciously and purposefully, returning to normal life. But grief still makes itself felt. But now it’s not an open bleeding wound when any blow of wind causes unbearable pain, making it difficult to act with the same breadth and strength.

Gradually, grief loses its power, it is like time heals. You remember most events separately from feelings that you experienced for a long time, these events cause sadness and regret, but not pain.

This period is restoration. The person doesn’t look back, he looks ahead. New plans appear, a taste for life returns, it is full of bright colors again.

These are the stages of grief that any person goes through, having this terrible situation. The length of the stages can be different and depends on the depth of grief and the degree of significance. One person can stay at some stage for a long period of time, the other can go through them quickly enough, and then going from one stage to another stage can be almost unnoticeable. However, each stage will be passed, giving its healing effect on the wounded soul.


1. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-coping-with-grief

2. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief-loss/coping-with-grief-and-loss.htm

3. http://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/


4. http://johnlrobinson.com/2013/08/long-form-journalisms-five-stages-of-grief/

5. https://writingthrugrief.wordpress.com/literature-about-grief/

6. http://surviving-unemployment.com/2011/04/14/cycling-through-the-unemployment-stages-of-grief-over-and-over-again/

7. http://www.socialworktech.com/2012/11/13/the-seven-stages-of-grief/

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By Maria Shevtsova

Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist. Taking action in support groups organization and social adaptation of the people with mental disorders. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the undepress.net project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who want to get their life back or help someone dear, who got into mental trap.

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