1. Denial and shock. A person may comprehend the loss but the emotions may not experience the pain yet. In this state of numbness, a person may feel as if the loss isn’t real.
2. Anger and blame. Once the reality of the loss begins to sink in, a person may experience intense feelings of anger. A grieving person may become preoccupied with memories of what has been lost and withdraw for a time.
3. Bargaining. In case of impending death or loss, a person may bargain with God for themselves or on behalf of another person. During the phase, a person may call on God and attempt to negotiate his/her circumstances.
4. Depression. Pain and loss are finally felt during this phase. A person may cry uncontrollable and experience heartache and deep emotional pain. It’s a time of emotional instability, disorganization, and thoughts if life will ever be normal again.
5. Acceptance. Eventually a person will begin to come to terms with the death or loss they have experienced. They are able to express their loss in words and talk openly about the subject of their loss. They take steps to reorganize their life, fill new roles, and reconnect with family and friends. Verbalization is a sign of acceptance.
Every person experiences grief differently. The 5 stages are an outline of the type of emotions that can be experienced in the grieving cycle. A grieving person may experience these stages in different orders or experience more than one at a time.
If you or someone you know are experiencing any of the stages of grief and need additional assistance coping with a loss, you can contact K & K Counseling for assistance.