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Grief is a natural response to losing something you deeply loved. While grief is most common when someone passes, it can also happen when you get a divorce or a close friend indicates that they no longer want to hang out. Grief can also occur when you experience changes to your health or the health of someone close to you. Grief is a natural part of life, but some people find it easier to cope with grief than others.

The Grief Process

Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross says that most people go through five stages of grief. Moving back and forth between the stages is expected until you finally heal. There is no hard-and-fast rule about how long grief lasts, so give yourself grace while going through the process.

Denial

The first stage of grief is usually denial, and it’s the mind’s way of coping with an overwhelming loss.

Anger

The second stage is typically anger. For most people, it is a replacement emotion for being scared. Often, people in this stage lash out at others without good reason. This often isolates others, but if you are supporting someone grieving, give them space to release those emotions without running away from them as they need you now more than ever.

Bargaining

Keebler-Ross called the third stage of grieving bargaining. It is the what if stage with the person going through the process often feeling that if they had only done something differently, the person would still be alive, the friendship mended, or the marriage saved.

Depression

Until this stage, the emotional impact of the loss has not really hit. During this stage, the person often pulls inward. Yet, if you are supporting someone going through the grieving process, keep inviting them to activities even if they decline.

Acceptance

While a person may still feel sad, the emotions are not as raw during this stage. The person who is grieving is ready to make decisions about what their future will look like.

Grief counseling can support you if you get stuck in the grieving process. Please contact us as there are ways that we can help you on your grief journey.