How grieving is necessary in
overcoming loss and tragedy
Five stages of grief
From time to time, everyone experiences grief for one reason or another. It is
important to realize that there is a grieving process and that the process takes time,
but you will heal.
Stage One: Denial Stage Four: Depression
“This can't be happening to Feelings of hopelessness,
me". No crying. Not accepting frustration, bitterness, self pity,
or even acknowledging the lack of control, and feeling numb.
Stage Two: Anger Stage Five: Acceptance
“Why me?“ Feelings of wanting Finding the good that can come out
to fight back, get even, or of the pain of loss, finding comfort
blame others. and healing.
Stage Three: Bargaining
Throughout this process, get help
Attempting to make deals with from friends, family, and the school
yourself or others to undo the counselor.
Stage One: Denial
“Surely this isn't happening to me.” Everything's really
Denial is powerful, effective, and sometimes essential for
dealing with crisis. There is a time and a place in which
denial is perhaps the most healthy response. Eventually,
however, there is a time and place for denial to end so you
can confront the problem and begin the healing process.
Then in the middle of healing, you may resume your denial.
That's okay. That's normal. That's sort of what's supposed
to happen when you're grieving.
Stage Two: Anger
Anger is normal and sometimes appropriate. Let's
be honest, sometimes you have been directly or
However, your primary task in dealing with anger,
of course, is to acknowledge and accept the
feelings of anger you have…either toward yourself
or others, while at the same time avoiding
behaviors that will hurt yourself and others.
Stage Three: Bargaining
Bargaining is not negotiating; that's an entirely different use
of the term. Also, bargaining is not a plan that you work out
I'm speaking here of the desperate, "I'll do anything -- just
tell me what" kind of statements that people make when
grieving. This is the most painful stage of the grieving
process because you are so willing to do anything to
change the situation.
That doesn't mean, though, that it's wrong to engage in
bargaining behavior. Again, it's a normal part of the
process. It's just that you need to move through it so you
can continue the grieving process. And just like denial,
bargaining will pop back up when you thought you were
past all that; again, that's normal.
Stage Four: Depression
Depression is merely a different flavor of anger. Instead of
being directed at others, depression is anger you turn
toward yourself. Not surprisingly, then, your task is to
handle depression in the same way you do anger -- to
acknowledge and accept the feelings you have of your own
unworthiness without acting on those feelings to hurt
yourself or others.
Like I did with bargaining, I need to clarify here the way in
which I use the term "depression." I'm not speaking here of
the clinical depression that is so prevalent in divorce. I'm
speaking instead of the normal, temporary feelings nearly
everyone has during the grieving process.
Stage Five: Acceptance
There is a difference between resignation and acceptance.
You have to accept the loss, not just try to bear it quietly.
Realization that it takes two to make or break a marriage.
Realization that the person is gone (in death) that it is not
their fault, they didn't leave you on purpose. (even in cases
of suicide, often the deceased person, was not in their
right frame of mind).
Finding the good that can come out of the pain of loss,
finding comfort and healing. Our goals turn toward
personal growth. Stay with fond memories of person.
Get help. You will survive. You will heal, even if you cannot
believe that now, just know that it is true.
To feel pain after loss is normal. It proves that we are alive,
human. But we can't stop living. We have to become
stronger, while not shutting off our feelings for the hope of
one day being healed and finding love and/or happiness
Helping others through something we have experienced is
a wonderful way to facilitate our healing and bring good out
of something tragic.