Following the loss of a loved one, there are many stages of grief which people may go through. Grieving is part of the healing process.


The stages of grief are generally:


1. Shock

When people first learn that someone they love has died, their immediate reaction is one of shock. They are stunned and often disbelieving, especially if the death is sudden or unexpected. This is a natural reaction because they are not ready to accept the death.


2. Emotional release

Letting go of emotions and expressing feelings aids the healing process and is a big step in the right direction toward readjustment. It is normal for people to want to cry, be angry, reminisce and share memories.


3. Depression

During grieving, people may feel depressed and experience overwhelming feelings of loneliness and/or may even become disinterested in what is happening around them.


4. Isolation

Remembering the past that they shared with their loved one is another natural part of the grieving process. It is important for people to stay in contact with their family and friends and not to isolate themselves during grieving.


5. Guilt

Some people may blame themselves for the bereaved’s death. ‘If only I’d been there’ or “If only I hadn’t let him/her go there’ are thoughts that may occur. Although these thoughts are normal, people shouldn’t feel responsible for something that is out of their control.


6. Hostility

It is normal for people to experience anger and aggression when working through the grieving process. it’s important that people do not bottle their anger up but rather talk to someone they can trust and feel comfortable with discussing death.


7.Physical demands

Grieving people may experience certain physical symptoms during the course of grieving. Symptoms may include low energy, poor appetite, sleeplessness and so on. It is important for people to look after their health and well-being during this time by ensuring they eat properly, exercise regularly, try to get a normal night’s sleep, and visit a doctor for a regular check-up.


8. Signs of recovery

It takes time to work through the grieving process but eventually people will start to feel better and be ready to get on with their life again. The length of time it takes to work through the grieving process varies from person to person.


Need help?

During your time of grief it’s a good idea to seek professional help to assist you in coming to terms with your loss. We can recommend professional counsellors and support groups.


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