Coping With Grief And LossLoss and Grief go hand in hand. There are many things that we grieve over when they are not with us anymore, for instance, the ending of a significant relationship, having to let go of unhealthy friends or family members, having physical or mental limitations that do not allow one to live a desired quality of life, or the death of a loved one.

Your reality and the perception of your life has been shattered momentarily when loss and grief set in. It seems like you will never feel whole again. Grieving takes time and cannot be rushed, however, grief counseling can help aid you in this process with support and guidance.

There are 5 universal stages of grief and loss. These stages were first published in 1969 in the book “On Death and Dying” by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Everyone’s experience of grief and loss will vary. There is no sequence or time frame connected to these stages and sometimes you bounce back and forth between them. They are a guide through your loss. Going through all of these stages will not be easy, however they are part of the grieving process. It is helpful to know these stages because instead of feeling lost and alone, you are able to identify them.

The 5 Universal Stages of Grief and Loss

  1. Denial & Isolation
  2. -When we have a loss we often think, “This cannot be happening” that somehow everything will go back to normal, and that the experience is not real. The experience is just too much to bear. We find ourselves in denial and isolate ourselves because we are in a state of shock and disbelief.

  3. Anger
  4. -There are many things we may be angry about when experiencing grief and loss. An initial feeling may be that we feel what has happened is unfair. We may feel rage inside and anger toward friends, family, ourselves, or a higher power for taking something away from us. Maybe we are angry over how something ended or maybe behind that anger is deep sadness.

  5. Bargaining
  6. -We don’t want to feel this loss, we don’t life to change. We are stuck in a mindset that is of the past. We think that maybe things would be different if we tried this-or-that or received more help or acted sooner. Somehow we feel a sense of guilt and think there could have been more done to prevent this loss.

  7. Depression
  8. -When we feel depression after a loss, it will feel deep, dark, and infinite. Time seems to go slowly, we find ourselves torn by our grief and loss. This is when it is important to remind ourselves that this feeling will pass and that mourning is normal and natural. Allow yourself to absorb the loss, because it is significant, but make sure that you have support along the way such as understanding friends, family, or grief counseling to help you through this time.

  9. Acceptance
  10. -Acceptance looks different for everyone. In its simplest form, acceptance means that we have acknowledged the loss and what it means to us. We do not have to like this reality. We can still allow ourselves to feel sorrow and grief, however, we are better able to let go of some of the limiting and overwhelming pain, anger, and sadness. Over time we should be able to appreciate the past for what it was and rejuvenate from within, slowly beginning to build life again.

Grief counseling helps one move through these stages, which in return nurtures the healing process and provides a safe place to let go of pain and suffering. Please reach out and call Solutions Treatment Center at 505-424-3170 to inquire about grief counseling and speak with one of our empathetic intake specialists…