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Grief is the emotional and behavioural reaction to loss.  We cannot escape the experience of loss in our lives and there is no one path for each of us to follow in order to deal with our grief.  The loss of someone dear to us is one of the most severe forms of stress. It is important that we mourn, as a failure to do so can have an impact on our health and relationships, through feelings of bitterness and hopelessness.

Grief is not experienced in a neat little package, but is a more personal and messy process. There is no time frame for experiencing it’s different stages but grief does have a few stages which the individual passes through. Here I have listed the Kubler-Ross model of the 5 stages of Grief, to just give a basic outline.

The 5 Stages of Grief

  1. Denial: A temporary defense mechanism for the individual often experienced as numbness. It is a natural way for the body and mind to be protected from the emotional overload experienced at this time.
  2. Anger: Feelings of fear, frustration and hurt can cause us to feel anger. It can be manifested in different ways, with the person becoming angry with themselves, those close to them or even at inanimate objects. It is normal and acceptable to feel anger and important to express it in healthy ways so it doesn’t become manifested as resentment.
  3. Bargaining: The reaction to feelings of helplessness in an attempt to gain some control over the situation. There are a lot of “If only’s” at this point.
  4. Depression: This stage is full of a deep sadness and commonly experienced as reactive depression. Symptoms include fatigue, restlessness, anxiety, sluggishness and a loss of interest in life.
  5. Acceptance: In this stage sadness will begin to lessen and other thoughts will once again begin to occupy the mind. The individual will begin to take part in the world again.

Grief counselling can be beneficial to those experiencing loss. Please remember that grief is a process, you will have good days and bad, there is no time frame for getting through this experience but there is hope and eventually there will be brighter days ahead for you.

Grief Counselling