Understanding the Five Stages of Grief

January 3, 2022 | Categories:

funeral homes Morton Grove, IL

Grief is a natural reaction after visiting funeral homes Morton Grove, IL, but how one responds to grief varies from person to person. Dr. Kubler-Ross presented a model explaining five different stages of grief that most bereaved individuals go through soon after losing someone close to their hearts. These five stages include:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Dr. Kubler-Ross’s Stages of Grief

Note that an individual may experience these stages in any order – or not experiencing any stages at all. Also, the duration of each stage varies from person to person.

Stage 1: Denial

Denial is the immediate response to the loss of a loved one. “No, this can’t be happening; you must be joking” or “I don’t believe it” are, mostly, the first words uttering from your mouth when you hear the news of the death of someone special.

This phase accompanies shock and the feelings of numbness as you try to cling to a false hope that the news might be wrong. Denial is our body’s natural defense mechanism to cope with overwhelming emotions of grief and sorrow – or one may say, “softening of the blow” by the brain.

Stage 2: Anger

For most people, denial lasts only for a few minutes as our brains start to accept the reality and we become emotionally aware of the fact that the loved one has left us forever. That’s where the thoughts of “Life isn’t fair with me” or “Why me” begin to engender in our minds.

This phase may last from several hours to a few months to beyond, as the bereaved blames/gets angry at himself, others (mostly doctors), or even God for the death of the loved one. It may sound irrational to many but anger is an inherent feature of grief.

Stage 3: Bargaining

Bargaining is when you try to make a deal with God in exchange for spending more time with the loved one. It is what you wish, hope, or pray – in a rather unsuccessful attempt to save them.

“What if” statements highlight this phase and it originates from your unconditional love for them – though logically it can’t happen. Kubler concludes that the “feelings of guilt” may also accompany the bereaved.

Stage 4: Depression

funeral homes Morton Grove, ILDepression is the phase when feelings of indescribable sorrow and loneliness overwhelm you. The pain, the hollowness you feel in life in the absence of the loved one can make even the small daily tasks seem insurmountable, leaving you to seek to refugee in isolation and memories.

This phase may last from several weeks to months, to forever if a healthy routine is not adopted.

Stage 5: Acceptance

Kubler argued that acceptance is the last stage of grief where the person accepts the reality that the loved one is never coming back. Your emotions begin to stabilize and you get back to normal life.

However, this phase doesn’t signify that you have forgotten the loved one – you still experience sorrow and grief but have managed to cope with them and move on after funeral homes Morton Grove, IL.