The Five Stages of Grief

Denial - Denial is a built in mechanism that is a “safeguard”. It prevents us from dealing with our loss all at once. This could be referred to as the “shock stage” or “numb stage”. You try to deny or pretend this event is not happening.

Denial can take on a variety of forms such as:

  • You try to out-run the pain.
  • Retreat or withdraw within yourself.
  • Reject help from others.

Anger - This is where one decides that someone has to pay. There is a desire for revenge or to “get even”. The anger can be revealed in many ways.

  • Known Anger - Obvious to person himself and those around him.
  • Hidden Anger - Person is aware of it, but has camouflaged the anger to those around him.
  • Blind Anger - The person himself is not aware, but those around him are aware.
  • Denied Anger - Most serious of all, the anger is repressed and buried to that the person and those around him.

Bargaining - This is where we make deals or use our brains to think of ways to “fix” things.

Depression - This is where we have decided it is a hopeless situation and feel there are no solutions. Life will never get any better. Sinking into such despair often leads to behavior such as: losing interest in life, lack of appetite or overeating, insomnia or sleeping too much, etc.

Acceptance - This is where we can say, “I don’t like what has happened. I wish things were different, but I am not going to let this ruin me. I am single, I am okay, and I am going on to new beginnings. God has great things for me.”

None of the stages are bad, as a matter of fact, you must experience each stage. You cannot go from denial to acceptance without experiencing the stages in the middle. However, work on not getting stuck in any stage, except acceptance. Your goal is to work through each stage to become whole, healthy and spiritually free.


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