Grief. Something nobody wants in their life but is inevitable. There are 5 stages of grief, although some believe there are more. No matter what you are grieving – a relationship, job, diagnosis, death, etc. – you still go through all these stages.
It might be a faster process for some and you might not go through the stages in a specific order, but you will go through them all.
Grief does not discriminate; everyone has to deal with it at some point in their life. Some people more than others, but no matter how many times you deal with it, it will hit you just as hard as the last. Everyone’s grief is unique to their situation and can’t be compared to others. Here are the stages:
When faced with something out of your control, it can hit you pretty hard. So hard that sometimes you can’t quite grasp the reality of what has happened, making you question if it’s real. You can’t accept what is going on because you can’t fully comprehend it. You go to sleep at night hoping it’s all just a bad dream, only to wake up to realize it’s not. Your days goes by slow and the pain gets worse as you start to understand your life has changed for good.
This stage completely depends on the person. You get to decide the fate of your behavior. Some people bottle up their anger, suffering alone, while others scream it loud and proud while taking it out on the ones they love. Some people turn to alcohol or drugs to cope while others exercise to release the stress of this stage. No matter how you deal with it, one thing remains the same – you are angry. You are mad at the situation that you have zero control over.
The stage which keeps you hanging on to that little bit of hope that things can be different even after the fact. Trying to regain the control you’ve lost by negotiating with a higher power, promising to change or do things for a better end result. It’s during this stage that guilt can start to consume your every thought.
The big ‘D.’ Something many people suffer with outside of grieving. The stage that can strip you of any good/positive feelings you might have. The one that if you let it, can suck you deeper and deeper into a place no one wants to be. During this stage it is very important to let people in. Accept help when offered and know you aren’t alone no matter how much it feels like you are.
No one wants to accept something awful has happened, but the fact of the matter is, life goes on. You have to learn how to live a new normal. You have to actively work on your mental health and teach yourself to be happy again. It’s hard, but it does get easier with time.
I’m not an expert on grief, but I have dealt with my fair share of pain. I unexpectedly lost my dad when I was 17 years old. That was the very first time I experienced grief in my life. It was awful. Over the years, I’ve had more family and friends taken from me, dealt with suicides of loved ones, and more recently had my almost 2-year-old daughter diagnosed with a rare Neurodegenerative disorder.
Through all of these experiences, I can say 100% I’ve gone through each and every one of the stages of grief for every one of these terrible events in my life. It might not feel like it at the time, but if you allow yourself the time and grace, you will get through these tough times.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amanda Burritt of British Columbia, Canada. You can follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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