Grief is a natural response to loss.
It’s something that all of us experience, and not only in relation to death.
Any type of loss can cause grief: a divorce, break up, loss of financial stability, a miscarriage, loss of friendship, death of a pet, etc.
No matter which it is, every loss is specific to the individual and their life.
Let’s take a look at 5 of the stages of grief, as identified by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.
Denial: During the stage of Denial, one refuses to acknowledge that the loss or change they are grieving doesn’t exist. This is a defense mechanism to help numb the situation.
Anger: The next stage is anger, or, the masking effect. This is the hiding of emotions that you are actually feeling, releasing them as anger toward innocent bystanders in your life instead.
Bargaining: This is the negotiation stage, where your mind is flooded with “what if” and “if only” statements. If you're religious, you may try to make deals or promises with God to help change the situation.
Acceptance: Lastly, acceptance, is coming to terms with what has happened. While this doesn't necessarily mean that you are past the grief or loss, it means finding a way forward to start a new path.
It’s also important to note that not everyone goes through each stage, and that there isn’t a strict order for the stages.
This means some stages may not occur at all, and you could even enter straight into anger or depression. It all depends on the individual.
If you decide you need help coping with these feelings and changes associated with grief, seeking guidance from a mental health professional is a great way to start!