Updated: Nov 26, 2020
After my Mum died, I had a lot of feelings that I couldn't explain, I seemed to lurch from one emotion to another and then back again.
Someone explained to me that I was experiencing the five stages of grief. At first I thought that if I worked through each stage, I'd feel better, and then I'd be "better", but what I've come to realise is that not quite how it works, it's not a linear process.
The five stages of grief are these;
Denial. You can't believe that your loved one has died and you refuse to accept what has happened. We sometimes do this to avoid dealing with what has happened and the sadness we feel. Some people never go through this stage.
Anger. You start to feel annoyed or angry with the person who has died, you can't understand why they would leave you in this way, knowing the upset and devastation it would cause to your life. Sometimes people will feel angry at themselves, believing they could have done more, or they could have prevented it happening.
Bargaining. Some people will reach out to a higher deity, God, the Universe, anyone they believe they can "strike a deal with" to make their pain go away.
Depression. Depression isn't necessarily something that occurs the moment someone dies and it can take a while to develop. There are so many emotions when someone dies, that depression very often presents itself when reality starts to hit. I am no expert in depression, so I would urge that if you or someone you love is struggling with depression, please get help, either by visiting your GP or a registered counsellor.
Acceptance. his is the stage, where the person grieving is no longer trying to recover the life they once had with the deceased, they are beginning to see that there is still a life to live.
It would be so simple if we went through the stages of grief as they are written above, but we don't. Some people might, but for others the stages will come in different orders, you might skip a step, you might go back to a step you've already been through, you might only have one stage.
However you go through the stages, it is is completely normal and you should give yourself time to feel what you need to feel, there's no time limit to grief, so don't rush your feelings and don't compare yourself with others.
Grief is a complicated set of emotions and can make you feel very lonely. This blog is a brief explanation and I am not an expert, so please if you are struggling seek the help of a professional, either by visiting your GP or speaking to a registered counsellor.