Death is an inevitable part of the natural cycle of life and is responsible for birthing one of the most universal emotions felt by all of mankind: grief. It isn’t an unfamiliar feeling to many, because almost everyone has experienced it at some point in their life. Grief is as deeply personal as it is messy and unpredictable. It doesn’t follow the same linear pattern as a line, and neither does it move according to a set schedule. Your emotions will be haphazardly scattered everywhere and you’ll have a hard time keeping yourself together in one piece – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Stages of Grief

Everyone’s grieving process is different, but there are some similar stages that people go through when they are experiencing grief. Here are the most common stages of grief.

1. Denial

After experiencing a loss, we struggle to survive through emotional pain. That is when the first stage of grief kicks in: denial. Rather than taking the risk of exposing us to emotions that may overwhelm us, denial slows the process down. Even though it’s an attempt to pretend that the loss didn’t happen, to begin with, denial also functions as a feeble attempt to process and understand everything that has happened.

2. Anger

It is very common to feel anger after the loss of a loved one. It becomes increasingly difficult to adjust to a new reality and we also tend to experience extreme emotional discomfort. This often manifests itself in the form of anger. Despite the fact that it might make us appear unapproachable, it helps us to express our emotions without worrying about fear of judgment or rejection.

3. Bargaining

When coping with loss, it’s common to deal with feelings of desperation and helplessness. You will feel the need to do anything within your power to help avoid or eliminate the pain. For example, we might make a bargain with a higher power, convinced that the exchange will impact the current situation. Retaliating in this manner makes us think that we possess control over something that is actually so far out of our control.

4. Depression

During the grieving process, reality begins to catch up to us at one point, and we feel forced to assess the present situation. We come to realize that there’s no other option than to confront what has happened head-on. As a result of this epiphany, we start to feel the loss of our loved ones at greater lengths, and the loss feels more unbearably strong. The sadness begins to grow, until it covers us completely, keeping us from reaching out to other people for help, despite needing them the most. Even though this is a normal part of grief, dealing with depression can also increase feelings of loneliness.

Also Read: 5 Reasons Families Honor Their Loved One

5. Acceptance

Even after reaching acceptance, we still continue to feel the unavoidable pain of loss. By the last stage, we are no longer resisting it, but at the same time, we’re not trying to change it either. Sadness and regret are very intertwined during the last phase of acceptance, but we are less likely to be affected by denial, bargaining and anger, in the same way that we were in the previous stages.

How Can You Help Someone Who Is Experiencing Grief?

Losing a loved one is a difficult and stressful time. Many are so focused on preparations for the funeral service and mourning the person they loved, that they can’t manage time to do anything else or take care of their own selves. If this is the case for someone you know, consider reaching out and giving them a helping hand by making a grief care package. A grief care package is filled with basic necessities to help ease the burden and make managing grief easier. Not only does creating one show that you care about the bereaved, but it will also help them cope.

It even gives you the opportunity to check in on them and help them through such a difficult time as well. A grief care package usually has items that include the following items: toiletries (e.g. toilet paper, tissue, shampoo, etc.), non-perishable food (e.g. canned goods, granola bars, instant oatmeal, etc.), small gifts (e.g. candles, cozy blanket, bath bombs, etc.), and grief resources (e.g. brochures, contact information for support groups, links to grief blogs, etc.).

If you find yourself struggling in dealing with grief or want to extend your support to someone you know who has recently experienced a serious loss, Visit us at Fort McMurray Funeral Home for more information.