Five Stages of Grief


There are many types of loss in our life that causes grief. Loss of a loved one through death is usually the one that first comes to mine, but grief is also normal in loss of a job, home, relationship, or dream for the future. When one is faced with loss, there are stages that are common which must be dealt with before recovery can occur. When there is a better understanding of these stages, it makes the process easier. If you, or someone you love is dealing with grief, knowing that your feelings are normal for what is going on may make the process more bearable.

Perhaps one of the hardest things is to ask for help when grieving. It is at this time that help is one of the most important things. Reaching out to others who care and understand can make it easier, whether this be through family, friend, minister, or mental health professional. Ask for that help. Let others help during this difficult time.


After the loss, there is a sense of numbness or denial. Being diagnosed with a serious illness can often be denied at first, as well as loss of a job or relationship. It is easier to see “these things” can happen to others, but not us.


This is one of the two most predictable stages, yet the least recognized. Sadness is an emotion that is hard to deal with. Anger is one that comes out first in many cases because it just hurts too much to “feel”. Unfortunately, this displaced emotion is often taken out on others.


Still caught up in denial and not ready to face the situation as it is, we may go back and bargain to get a job back or try to win a significant other back by bargaining.


This is the most predictable stage of grief. However, many do not realize there are others that come before. When one begins to come to terms with their loss, depression may cause withdrawn behavior, crying, sleep loss, or self harm if not properly treated. Friends, family, and sometimes a therapist are needed to help with coping.


Recover comes after one comes to terms that there is a change in life due to the loss. If it is a job loss, one might seek out another. In relationship issues, one may feel comfortable venturing out to meet others.

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