Understanding The 5 Stages of Grief
Mourning is a completely normal yet unique experience everyone will encounter during some portion of their life. Grief is a large emotion to encompass, so experts have broken it down to 5 different stages an individual will experience as the emotion is initially felt and continues to occur. These 5 stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Denial can be understood as a defense mechanism that helps an individual to cope with the shock of a hurtful situation. Most people feel numb during this initial phase and as if nothing matters; tuning everything out.
Anger is most often associated during grief with an attitude that asks questions like, “What did I do to deserve this?” Most people are able to better connect through this emotion, though it is negative, as opposed to not connecting at all, and it can help foster feelings which lead to the next stage of grief.
Bargaining is difficult to experience as it mainly gives an individual a sense of hope during a period of intense pain. During this time, individuals will internally negotiate in a way that allows them to think of the loss in terms of, “If I had done this, then that wouldn’t have happened,” and so forth.
Finally, after these emotions have all been experienced, depression isn’t a mental health issue but actually the individual’s ability to finally face present reality and fully understand that the loss, regardless of all of the previous emotions felt, was inevitable.
After depression is experienced, acceptance is the fifth and final stage of grief. While pain and hard emotions are still felt during this time, people are likely to more easily accept the reality of what has happened and find different avenues to move on. The individual will have made peace with what has happened and usually will stop wishing for things to go back to how they used to be.
It’s important to be mindful that there is no deadline or set time every individual will experience all stages of grief and that it’s normal to feel exactly as you do. If you feel you are struggling more than you know, it’s never too late to reach out to help or talk to a professional who can help you better understand the pain you are experiencing. At Monuments of Victoria, we know the loss of a loved one and feeling it brings with it will last a lifetime- that’s why we work with you on your terms and in your time.