How to Deal with Bereavement

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Doctors have identified five common stages of grief:. Every person goes through these phases in his or her own way. You may go back and forth between them, or skip one or more stages altogether. Reminders of your loss, like the anniversary of a death or a familiar song, can trigger the return of grief.

Coping with grief | Dying with cancer | Cancer Research UK

Your grieving process depends on a number of things, like your personality, age, beliefs, and support network. The type of loss is also a factor. With time, the sadness eases. You may not be able to accept the loss. A therapist can help you explore your emotions. She can also teach you coping skills and help you manage your grief.

What is grief?

But be careful. In fact, they can lead to addiction , depression , anxiety , or even an emotional breakdown. Do I Need Professional Help? Instead, try these things to help you come to terms with your loss and begin to heal: Give yourself time. Accept your feelings and know that grieving is a process.

You understand what you've lost and recognize how important that thing or person was to you. You no longer feel angry about it, and you're finished with bargaining to get it back. You're ready to start rebuilding your life.

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Complete acceptance brings peace-but often this stage is never complete. Instead, you might feel sad during death anniversaries or angry when you feel life would work out so much better if you just had that thing or person with you now. When you accept the loss fully, you'll understand the stages of grief better. The seven stages of loss model is a more in-depth analysis of the components of the grief process.

Dearly Loved: Dealing with the Death of A Parent

These seven stages include shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance. Kubler-Ross added the two steps as an extension of the grief cycle. In the shock phase, you feel paralyzed and emotionless. In the testing stage, you try to find realistic solutions for coping with the loss and rebuilding your life. In addition to the five-stage and seven-stage models, you may have heard about the four stages of grief or the six stages of grief.

Coping with bereavement

John Bowlby, a British psychologist, studied the stages of grief and loss before Dr. His work was with children with attachment issues. One of these, of course, is grief. Bowlby's four stages of grief are: 1 shock and numbness, 2 yearning and searching, 3 despair and disorganization, 4 reorganization and recovery. The six stages of grief is merely an extension of Kubler-Ross's original five-stage process.

The only difference is that the shock stage starts before denial. What are the actual stages of grief then? That is a question only you can answer. The stages of grief you experience might be different from someone else's. Sometimes the grief process doesn't go well. The bereaved may become stuck in one stage of grief, unwilling or unable to move through the process. In a worst-case scenario, the person can continue to be angry, sad, or even in denial for the rest of their life.

When this happens, they usually need to talk to a grief counselor before they can move out of that stage. Otherwise, the intense pain might continue over the course of many years. Also, they may miss opportunities to build a new life that can bring happiness in the here and now.


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Even if you don't become stuck in one particular stage of grief and loss, you might get stuck in the cycle. You move through the stages, but then move back to the previous ones, never quite able to free yourself. This return to earlier stages usually means you haven't thoroughly dealt with them yet. In cases of extreme loss, this may be necessary for a time.

The shock, denial, anger, and bargaining can eventually lead to acceptance. Grief counseling is available to help people who are overwhelmed after a loss. Whether you're stuck in your grief cycle, in one stage of grief, or are dealing with issues stemming from your grief, such as depression, starting your own grief counseling journey will provide you with the necessary resources to help you recover. Talking to a grief counselor online at BetterHelp.

By choosing online counseling, you skip the wait and start receiving professional support and guidance immediately.


  1. Grief Isn't Something to Get Over | Psychology Today.
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  4. Supporting a grieving friend or relative?
  5. The Ways We Grieve | Psychology Today.

Read some of the reviews listed below, from people experiencing similar issues. Never once did I feel that she was judging me or talking down to me. She was easy for me to open up too, she was professional, and she took me seriously.


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Together we discussed issues of loss and grief from the passing of my father, which had become more than I could handle alone. She not only validated my feelings of loss, but she also helped me find ways to mitigate those feelings, break them down into their roots and causes then address those. Coping with grief and loss is hard work, but Sarah helped me find the tools I needed within myself to do that hard work and ultimately find success.

I am a stronger person now. I am happy and confident. I may not know what is around the next corner, but I know that whatever it is, I can handle it. No loss is ever easy, but being able to talk to someone who understands that it's not easy has been helpful.

How does grief affect you?

Grief is a natural part of losing something or someone you held dearly, and it takes time. If you feel your grief is a burden you can't carry alone, there are trained professionals at BetterHelp available to help when you need it. This site requires anonymous cookies and third party services to function properly. This site may store and process health related data for the purposes of providing counseling and related services.

Grief and loss

To continue using BetterHelp, you must consent to our Privacy Policy. You can opt-out at any time. Understanding The Stages Of Grief. Search Topics. The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional.

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