Grief can be triggered by the death of a friend, family member or companion, divorce, the loss of employment, pet, status, a sense of safety, order or possessions.

Everyone reacts differently to grief depending on their personality, family, culture, spiritual and religious beliefs.  While many are able to work through their loss with the help of friends and families, others require additional support to grieve and heal.

Five Stages of Grief

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler Ross used the five stages of grief to explain the emotions someone may experience when dealing with grief.  Not all people experience all of the stages and they may not experience the stages in order.  On the other hand, if they experience a very tragic loss, they may face one or all of these emotions simultaneously.  The length of time an individual spends in each stage also will be different.  The grief stages usually reflect the emotions of someone who is dealing with death.  However, these guidelines also can apply to other situations such as divorce, betrayal by a friend or a tragedy like 9/11.

1. Denial – refusing to believe what has happened, feeling shocked.
2. Anger – blaming others (supreme being, friend, family member) for the death or loss.
3. Bargaining – asking the universe or a supreme being to let the person live or to change the circumstances.
4. Depression – experiencing exhaustion, helplessness, guilt and lack of interest in life.
5. Acceptance – Facing the loss and moving on, returning to setting goals in your life and focusing your energy more positively.

If you are grieving or think you are experiencing symptoms of grief, contact one of our iTherapy counselors for an appointment.

See Also

  • Self-Assessment