The 5 Phases of Grief

November 9, 2020 | Categories:

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Grief is a natural and universal process and when you’re planning cremation services Lincolnwood, IL, everyone encounters it. The grief of losing someone close to you is the hardest phase of your life and the pain and stress it accompanies are overwhelming.

But understanding the basic mechanism of grief can help you overcome your grief quicker and initiate the recovery process. Psychologists have outlined 5 stages of grief that an average person experiences while grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

However, not every person will go through all these stages and he or she may not experience them in the same order.


The first reaction to loss is denial. It’s an impulsive reaction where you don’t accept the reality that the loved one has passed. The sentences like: ‘It can’t be true’, ‘You’re lying’, ‘he/she will be back, I know,’ are common responses when you first hear the news of the sudden demise of a beloved.

Such a reaction acts as a natural defense mechanism to help you absorb the pain and stress slowly. The period of denial is usually a short one.


Denial is generally followed by anger where the bereaved tries to mask the pain. Generally, one intends to hide the pain and emotions of losing someone through anger. This anger may be directed at anyone, most commonly the one who brings the news or the doctors for failing to save the person. People also display anger at inanimate objects like breaking plates or other things.

Anger may also be a reaction to resentment or bitterness where you blame yourself for the death of the loved one. The ability to think rationally fades when you’re dealing with excessive emotions.


When the feelings of anger subside, you start to look for other ways of coping with grief. In such moments, your brain looks for ways to change the reality – yes, it sounds unrealistic but you’re vulnerable and weak. The thoughts of ‘what if’ and ‘only if’ saturate your mind and you find yourself creating a lot of hypothetical situations – just to change the reality.


Depression is the most powerful yet quietest period of grief when the bereaved isolates himself to overcome pain. By this time, you have realized that the departed will never come back and you have to spend the rest of your life without them.

Depression is a very complicated process and can last from a few weeks to forever. It can be overwhelming, encompassing a range of feelings that affects your personal and professional life.

The sooner you get out of it, the better it is.


Finally, you moved past the grief period. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the memories of the deceased have faded, neither it is the uplifting or happy stage, it rather shows you have adapted to the new reality and moved on with your life.

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After understanding the five basic stages of grief, you should try to reach the acceptance stage as soon as possible. It doesn’t mean you have to forget the loved one – their memory resides in your heart forever, but you manage to live with the new reality. Cremation services Lincolnwood, IL, won’t bring back your loved one, but they can help you heal.