Everyone is different
Grief is a natural response to losing a loved one. There is no set time in which you will feel better and come to terms with your loss, and unfortunately some people may take longer to recover than others.
People react to loss in different ways, so each person will deal with grief differently and for different lengths of time. What works for one person might not work for another, and how you overcome the initial period of grief depends on many things.
Seven Stages of Grief
The Seven Stages of Grief outline some of the possible emotions you may feel after losing a loved one. You could feel all of them, a few of them or none of them at all. Everyone grieves differently; so it is important to talk to someone about your grief, whether that is a family member, friend or a professional.
The Seven Stages of Grief are:
Shock is an automatic coping mechanism, protecting ourselves from being overwhelmed. It is normal to be shocked upon finding out about a loss, especially if it was unexpected and sudden.
Denial doesn’t always mean that you deny the event, it could also be shown through how you express your emotions; such as denying that you are going through a difficult time, or that you are deeply affected by your loss.
Guilt stems from the desire to go back in time and do things differently. It can lead to thinking it is your fault as your mind doesn’t determine between emotions that are logical or not.
Anger and Bargaining
Anger could be towards the situation, yourself or the people around you. You might also try to reason with yourself by doing something different, reflecting on the past with “If this, then that” statements.
You may start to accept the loss however feel unable to cope with it. Feeling overwhelmed is normal, depression can come and go in a person’s life and will help you towards peace.
As time goes by you will be more functional, but you’ll also still have feelings of sadness, anger, depression and guilt. This is a period where you can start moving forward by finding ways to deal with your grief.
This is the final stage where you accept your loss and start to feel okay again. This doesn’t mean you’ll “be over it”, but you will be able to think and talk about your loved one without incredible pain or emotion.
Dealing with grief and loss is not easy, so we have provided a list of useful organisations that can help and support you through bereavement. Click here to see our Additionals Links & Support Services