Losing a loved one is unfortunately an inevitable that nobody is ready to face. It’s a life altering event that causes emotions you aren’t quite familiar with. You may be wondering if what you’re feeling is normal. A lot of people wonder if there is an appropriate time limit to displaying their grief.
The truth is, there are no rules to grieving a loss. Some people grieve for months, while others grieve for years. The amount of time and the mix of emotions differ for everyone. Recognizing and understanding the stages of grief will help you better process your grief. There are typically five stages, and although they often come in close to this order, everyone is different.
- Denial- This is typically the stage where we don’t want to believe our loved one is gone. It’s hard to accept reality. They were here yesterday, and now they are gone. You keep picturing them walking through the door, or expecting them to call.
- Anger- Being angry with your loved one for leaving you is perfectly normal. You might even be angry with yourself. Angry with regrets. This will pass.
- Bargaining- It’s perfectly normal to bargain, to wish for your loved one back. This is the point where you might say things like “I’ll do anything to have you back.”
- Depression- The most obvious emotion you’ll experience is depression. During this stage of grief, you might not sleep, refuse to eat, and cry a lot. It’s ok. This too will pass. But this is necessary to get through the pain.
- Acceptance- You’ve came a long way, and although the pain still exists, you now are able to accept that your loved one is gone and in a better place. Accepting this reality doesn’t mean your over it. It just means you’ve processed your emotions.
The above stages can happen in any order, can be reoccurring, and some may last longer. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to reach out and talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Talking about what you’re going through can sometimes help tremendously. If you’re dealing with grief and loss, and would like to set up an appointment with one of our therapist, please contact us at Family Restoration Counseling.