What you need to know about: Grief

by Meaghan Diaz
The stages one goes through after experiencing the death of a loved one include: denial & isolation, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. Every person is different and subsequently each person experiences grief differently. Some may go through the stages in a different order or others may experience one stage longer than another stage. Some may cope with the loss by outwardly expressing their emotions, while others may bottle it up. Regardless of how a person expresses grief, everyone goes through stages of grief in his or her own way.
Stage 1 is denial and isolation. This stage is the first reaction to the news that serves as a buffer from the pain. A person may deny the facts of the situation and may withdraw from others in response to learning of their loved one’s passing or terminal illness.
Stage 2 is anger. When the protective effects of denial and isolation begin to wear and the pain resurfaces, one may experience angry outbursts due to their lack of control of the situation. The anger can be directed at inanimate objects or people, including strangers, family, friends, doctors or even the deceased or ill loved one.
Stage 3 is bargaining. This stage is an attempt to regain control by reflecting on how one could have prevented the situation in the first place. For example, thoughts such as “If only he or she were diagnosed sooner…” or “If only I spent more time with him or her before this happened…” are common in the third stage of grief.
Stage 4 is depression. This stage is when the person allows themselves to feel the pain of the situation fully, which results in experiencing symptoms of depression, such as sadness and regret.
Stage 5 is acceptance. Some may not reach this stage, however it characterized by accepting the reality of the situation and feeling calm about it. It does not necessarily mean that the person is happy about it, but they have accepted that it has happened and have allowed the grief process to take its course.
As mentioned, these stages may occur in a different order, intensity, and may overlap depending on the individual and their type of loss. Also, a mix of emotions such as anger, confusion, fear, guilt, and hopelessness may occur throughout the grieving process.
It is important to remember that:
  • you will survive the loss despite the pain,
  • that allowing yourself to go through the process at the natural pace (without trying to speed through it) will allow for proper healing, 
  • it is important express your emotions and seek support when needed.
“Should I seek counseling for grief?”
Some find it comforting to speak to a therapist during the grieving process.
If you would like to seek counseling with a UB therapist who specializes in grief & loss counseling, contact us.

We are now accepting new clients for telehealth or in-person therapy sessions! Please give us a call (888) 726-7170 or email intake@urbanbalance.com to schedule an appointment today!