A Simple Guide to the 5 Stages of Grief and Loss

You may have heard about the five stages of grief but what are they and what do they mean? Here we'll go through them and see how we react after the loss of a loved one.

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

You may have heard of these 5 stages.

In this post, we are going to talk about each stage of grief and loss, and learn a little bit more about them.

One thing I want to point out before we start is that while this may be the most common order, people experience things differently and that is a beautiful thing.

Grief is universal, as well as personal. So, rather than treating these stages as things to tick off a list, give yourself time and space to feel.

(And remember that these stages can apply to many situations in life, such as a breakup, loss of a job, as well as death)

The 5 stages of grief

1. Denial

Denial can happen before or after the loss of something or someone. Many times, your mind will struggle to accept the reality of the situation. As Healthline explains, it is a defense mechanism that can cause you to feel numb, unable to imagine the thought of life without your loved one.

2. Anger

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Being angry or resentful following a death is not abnormal. You could be angry at the person who passed, angry with yourself, or simply just angry that life has dealt you these cards.

It’s a natural response and one that often masks deeper feelings until you’re ready to process them.

3. Bargaining

It’s not uncommon to try and change the outcome of whatever situation you may be in. To try and make a deal with a higher power so you can regain some control.

“If only” is an attempt to relieve some pain, confusion, or sadness. It’s hard to make sense of what has happened and can be even harder to accept.

4. Depression

There may come a point where it feels as though the loss has overwhelmed you. This can often lead to feelings of depression. Or make you feel empty, confused, or heavy.

Each stage is different for each person, but if you are struggling in this stage, asking for help is SO important. A friend or therapist could be what helps pull you through.

5. Acceptance

This isn’t the end of grief, as the fact is, grief never really ends for some people. However, with acceptance, there are more good days than bad, and you’ve accepted that your life has changed.

You could however feel guilty as you’re not in as much pain, but it’s important to see the possibilities for the future. Your loved one is gone but never forgotten.

Where to go from here

As we’ve mentioned, these stages won’t necessarily come in a straight line. They can come and go in waves and in any order. It’s a good idea to appreciate wherever you’re at, as this may help you process better.

If you or someone you know is struggling with any of the five stages of grief, it’s always a good idea to ask for help, either from a loved one or a professional.

And after the year we’ve all had, remember, you’re never alone. 💛

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Regulated by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) [ZA662891]. “Bequest" is trademark protected by FF Bequest Limited (UK00003452648). FF Bequest Limited is registered in England and Wales, No 12367897.

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FF Bequest Limited, trading as Bequest, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with firm reference number 923791. You can check our authorisation on the FCA Financial Services Register by visiting the following website: register.fca.org.uk . We are registered in England and Wales, Registered office address: Founders Factory, Northcliffe House, London, United Kingdom, W8 5EH. Company Number 12367897.

Regulated by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) [ZA662891]. “Bequest" is trademark protected by FF Bequest Limited (UK00003452648). FF Bequest Limited is registered in England and Wales, No 12367897.

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