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The five stages of grief


Published on The five stages are denial (“This can’t be happening.”), anger (“Why me? It’s not fair?”), bargaining (“I’ll do anything if only…”), depression (“It’s all hopeless”) and finally acceptance (“I can cope with this.”).

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The five stages of grief

  1. 1. The Five Stages Of Grief
  2. 2. Denial
  3. 3. This is the first stage of grief, the stagewhen the impact of the loss hasn’treally sunk in.
  4. 4. You wonder if you’ve just beenimagining those symptoms, or that thedoctor has made a mistake, or thatyour significant other is just making abad joke about leaving you.
  5. 5. “This can’t be happening!” is a goodway of summarising this stage. Thisstage never lasts long.
  6. 6. Anger
  7. 7. We are outraged and furious that sucha thing could happen, especially to us.
  8. 8. We look for the cause or something toblame and demand that the problem befixed (sometimes, we blame ourselvesand get angry at ourselves).
  9. 9. “It’s not fair! Why me? Why is thishappening?” are frequent phrases saidby people in this stage.
  10. 10. During this stage, it is important torelease the anger, but we have to becareful not to express it in harmfulways.
  11. 11. Again, writing things down is a time-honoured method of expressing it.
  12. 12. An excellent example of someone – or,rather, two people – going through thisstage is found in Dylan Thomas’spoem “Do Not Go Gentle Into ThatGood Night”, where the poet tells hisdying father that “Old age should burnand rave at close of day;/ Rage, rageagainst the dying of the light.”
  13. 13. Read this poem aloud – it might help.Or use physical activity as an outlet,even if all you can do is punch a pillow.
  14. 14. Bargaining
  15. 15. Here, people try to focus on what theycan do to change the outcome(needless to say, this stage doesn’t lastlong if you have lost a loved one todeath or if you have lost your home toa natural disaster).
  16. 16. You try to make a deal that will staveoff an impending loss.
  17. 17. In the case of divorce or redundancy,this bargaining sometimes does reversethe inevitable, but it doesn’t always.
  18. 18. Depression.
  19. 19. This isn’t the same as clinicaldepression, although it can lead to it.
  20. 20. This is by far the most uncomfortablestage of the grief process and involveswithdrawal, crying, lack of appetite,listlessness and silence.
  21. 21. Two things are important to rememberif you are going through this stage orknow someone who is.
  22. 22. The first is that this stage is necessaryand you should not hurry through itbut let it proceed at its own pace andresolve naturally.
  23. 23. The second is that you shouldn’t try tocheer up a person going through thisstage.
  24. 24. It’s awkward and onlookers often feelthat they don’t have the right words tosay.
  25. 25. However, words are often notnecessary – just being there silentlyreally helps a lot of the time.
  26. 26. Acceptance
  27. 27. Here, people come to terms with theirsituation and realise that they will beable to get through whatever it is andthat everything will be well.
  28. 28. This is where you face the truth andaccept it, and prepare to move on.
  29. 29. Of course, not everyone goes throughthe stages at the same pace, and howthe stages will be expressed will differfrom person to person.
  30. 30.