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Five Stages of Grief: Moving Through the Stages Toward Healing

Posted on 24 June 2016

When faced with the loss of a loved one, whether expected or unexpected, we often find ourselves confused and unsure of how to move forward. Many of us have heard of the five stages of grief, but if you’ve never experienced tremendous grief before, you might be unsure of how to navigate through the stages toward healing.

Denial

Denial is a crucial step and shouldn’t be ignored. This natural reaction leaves us feeling that the world is meaningless and life makes no sense. We’re numb and feel like we can’t go on. Getting through a single day seems impossible. But denial helps to pace our grief. It prevents our systems from going into overload. Denial helps us handle each new level of emotion as we feel strong enough to.

Anger

Some people fight the natural anger that they feel inside. We are used to pushing down anger in most situations. But when it comes to grief, anger helps us heal. It acts as a link between denial and the next stage. If you don’t deal with the anger when you feel it and push it down deep within you, it won’t go away. Instead, it will grow until you can’t hold it in any longer. Dealing with your anger in a healthy manner will help you move towards closure.

Bargaining

This stage can come and go. When you dwell on the last few days of the deceased, you might wonder what you could have done differently to stop the loss. Guilt often goes hand in hand with bargaining and you find yourself wishing that if you could just do one thing differently and save the deceased. You can allow these thoughts to happen but you have to remember that you can’t change the past and that you are not to blame for your loved one’s passing.

Depression

Once we move past the denial, anger and bargaining, it is only natural for depression to set in. As painful as this stage is, you need to go through it. Even though it feels like it will last forever, this stage will pass. If you find yourself struggling, there is no shame in seeking professional help. You will find your own purpose again, along with happiness.

Acceptance

Don’t confuse acceptance with feeling that you are “over” your loss. Instead, this stage is about accepting the reality of what has happened in our lives. There’s no denial or bargaining left anymore. Instead, we are learning about the new person that we have become after traveling through the five stages of grief. We may never be the same person that we were before the loss, but we are now stronger than before.

Losing someone dear is never easy. But hopefully the five stages of grief will ease your pain and help you move towards closure and healing. Johnston’s Cremation Jewelry will always be here if you decide to consider cremation jewelry as part of your healing process.

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