Five Stages of Grief: What They Are, and How to Make It Through

Whenever you lose someone close to you, it’s normal and natural to grieve that loss. Going through the stages of grief is essential toward taking your next steps in the healing process.

How do you get past the five stages of grief? To find out, read on.

What are the five stages of grief?

This term comes from psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who developed the theory behind the five stages of grief in the 1960s. She wrote that there are five common emotions associated with loss and grief. They are:

  • Denial: This is a knee-jerk reaction right when you’ve been delivered bad news. You might think things like, “This can’t be happening right now.”
  • Anger: After this, you’re likely to want to fight against what’s happening. You lash out, sometimes even at people who you cherish. Alternatively, you might turn that anger toward yourself.
  • Bargaining: In this stage, you may turn to experts or even to God to attempt to reverse the situation. Recognize that both anger and bargaining are closely tied to the first reaction—denial.
  • Depression: This is the point where you feel that all is lost. You may feel overwhelmed and refuse to communicate with others. You feel like nothing can possibly make your situation better.
  • Acceptance: While grieving is often associated with negative emotions, at the end of the process, you do feel somewhat better. At this point, you realize that all of your other emotions haven’t reversed the situation. You may begin planning on where to go from here, and the healing can begin.

What you’re mourning may differ. It may be dealing with your own mortality, dealing with the loss of a relationship or coping with an illness. No matter what the situation, it’s best to recognize your emotional reactions and consider how you want to move forward.

How long does it take to get through the five stages of grief?

Let’s start with how you move through the five stages. Though the previous section laid things out in a nice, chronological order, the fact is that people grieve in different ways. Some go through step by step, whereas others hop around, bouncing between denial and depression. Some go slowly and reach acceptance, whereas others accept fast only to tumble back down to denial. The reality is (and you may have already known this deep down) that everyone is going to be different in how they process grief and loss.

In cases where you’re struggling with grief and can’t seem to make it through those negative emotions, the best thing to do is reach out. Whether you’re calling up family or friends, contacting a support group or getting in touch with mental health professionals, it’s always best to process these emotions with others.

When you want to honor a special person’s life, Evergreen Funeral Home, Cemetery & Cremations is here to help. We strive to make funeral planning simple so that you can focus on being with family and friends during this difficult time. Contact us today to learn more about our services.