Grief can be excruciating and very hurtful.  It takes time to process through, and everyone’s grief looks different.  Try to remember that there is no right or wrong way to grieve.  Grief does, however, have five stages.  The stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  They do not particularly flow in that order.  A person can go in and out of stages. Let’s discuss the stages.

    • Denial (This isn’t happening.)
      • This is the stage where you may deny the loss has happened.  You may minimize or deny the situation.
    • Anger (Why is this happening?)
      • This is the stage where you may be angry or upset with yourself.  You may blame yourself or others. You may feel a sense of unfairness about the situation.
    • Bargaining (I’ll do anything to change this situation.)
      • This is the stage where you may try to change or delay a loss.  For example, if it’s a breakup, you may try to convince a partner to return or pleading with God to change the loss.
    • Depression (What’s the point in living?)
      • This is the stage where you recognize a loss has happened.  You may spend a great deal of time crying or isolating yourself from others.
    • Acceptance (I can begin living again.)
      • This is the stage where you accept your loss and come to terms emotionally with the situation.

Wiliam Worden developed the tasks of mourning which are basically goals that someone grieving should achieve to ensure they grieve in a healthy way.

  • Accept the reality of the loss.
    • Accept the loss both intellectually and emotionally.
    • Recognize the significance of the loss.
  • Process the pain of the grief.
    • Identify and make sense of your feelings.
    • Allow yourself to feel your feelings, rather than deny them or push them away.
  • Adjust to a world without your loved one.
    • Make practical changes and begin creating new ways of living.
    • Adapt to a changing worldview without your loved one.
  • Remember your loved one while moving forward with your life.
    • Create a balance between remembering your loved one and moving forward; knowing your loved one is forever in your heart and memories.
    • Knowing your loved one will always be in your heart while making room for new relationships.

Please know that grief lasts as long as it needs to last.  Try to give yourself grace and compassion while not rushing yourself or feeling as if you “shouldn’t” still be grieving.  It’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to miss the person or situation that played a role in your life.  My encouragement to you is to just breath and know, you will get through this.