Why There is No “Right” Way to Grieve


Every loss is different. Whether it is a death of a loved one, losing a job or the end of a relationship, each loss is not the same. Loss is one of the most difficult emotions to cope with, and every individual has their own way of dealing with the grief. However, it is important to understand that grieving isn’t a single experience, it is an emotional process to make peace with the loss and might take a long time to recover from, says an article by the American Cancer Society.

Every person goes through a period of grief at some point in their life but none of us experience it in quite the same way.

5 Stages of Grief

Life transitions can often bring about symptoms which might look a lot like anxiety and depression, even in the healthiest person, say experts at the Institute for Personal Growth. This might just throw a person off balance, resulting stress and grief. In her book, On Death and Dying, Elizabeth Kubler Ross proposed 5 stages of grief.

1.      Denial

This is the first stage where the person does not want to believe that a loss has occurred. This begins right after the event and the person might be in a state of shock. It might also trigger bouts of pain and anxiety.

2.      Anger

In this stage, the feeling of loss is the most intense. The person is usually angry with a loved one for leaving or with the universe for taking away what was a treasured possession.

3.      Bargaining

During this phase, a person goes back to the past to think of various ways in which the loss could have been avoided. This is dominated by thoughts of “if only” and “what if.”

4.      Depression

The person comes to terms with how life will change hereafter. This is when extreme sadness and depression set in.

5.      Acceptance

The reality of the loss is finally accepted, and daily life is adjusted accordingly. This stage is all about moving on and living in the new reality.

Many people do not experience each of these five stages as a separate phase. Many might not even experience them in the same order. Returning to normalcy can either be a prolonged process or a short one, varying from person to person. In fact, one in 10 Americans experience grief at some point of their life and the average duration could be up to six months, says an article on WebMD.

During this phase, if the grief persists for a long time or if it causes concerns regarding the well-being of the grieving individual, it is best to seek professional help.


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