Phases of Grief
It may be helpful to be aware of these identified phases or common aspects of grief. It is also important to know there is no right or wrong way to grieve. You may go back and forth between phases, experience more than one at a time, or even skip one all together. All feelings are normal, even if they seem irrational.
- Shock is the first stage of numbness, disbelief and unreality.
- Denial is thoughts or words such as, "I don't believe it - it can't be!"
- Bargaining involves making promises such as, "I'll be so good if only I can awaken to find this hasn't happened" or "I'll do all the right things if only..."
- Guilt is a hard stage and difficult to deal with alone. This is a normal feeling characterized by statements such as, "If only I had ... If only I had not..." done or said or thought something. Guilt may ultimately be resolved by understanding that all of us are human beings who give the best and worst of ourselves to others. What they do with what we give is their responsibility.
- Anger is another very difficult phase, but it may seem necessary in order to face reality and get beyond the loss. We all must heal in our own way and anger is a normal stage along the way. However, you may feel guilty because you are angry at the person who died or because your life is continuing while his or hers is not.
- Depression may come and go and be different each time in length and/or intensity. Give yourself time to heal.
- Resignation means you finally believe the reality of the death.
- Acceptance and Hope come when you finally understand that you will never be the same, but you can go on to have meaning and purpose in your life.
Compiled from: HOPES.