The Seven Stages of Grief Explained


There are about 2.5 million deaths in the US each year, and each of these tragedies will leave behind an average of 5 grieving people. 

It’s never easy losing someone close to you, and it’s even harder to come to terms with the loss of this loved one, never mind moving forward. 

You’re not alone. So many of us don’t know how to deal with loss. Keep reading to discover what the seven stages of grief are, what they look like, and how through understanding them, you can overcome them. 

Stage 1: Denial and Shock 

Often, the first reaction to the bad news is absolute disbelief and a ‘numb to the world’ feeling that takes over. 

In some ways, you’ll find yourself in denial over the loss of this person, and the numbness you feel is your way of protecting yourself from being completely and utterly overwhelmed by sadness. You may feel detached from the world during this stage. 

Stage 2: Guilt and Pain 

This is where the pain of the loss you’ve suffered can become so intense that you begin to feel it physically. With this pain, comes feelings of guilt, you may feel like there are things you should’ve said to your loved one, or things you wish you could have done. 

It’s important not to push aside or avoid these feelings, embrace them, and let everything be felt. 

Stage 3: Anger and Negotiation

Once you’ve navigated through your pain, you’re going to start to feel angry. When you start to feel anger about the sudden death, you’re going to start blaming people. With this blame, comes the notion that we can negotiate somehow to bring back our loved ones. 

Please remember that your words can hurt those around you here, and the relationships you still have can help you through this difficult time

Stage 4: Depression, Loneliness, and Reflection

This is the stage where you start to truly come to terms with your loss and really begin the mourning process. 

This is the last of the worst of the storm passing you by. 

Accept that you’re going to be sad for quite some time, allow yourself to be. Reflect on and remember the good times, remind yourself it’s okay to want to be alone. 

Stage 5: Upward Turns 

The stage where the tiny light at the end of the tunnel starts to shine through all the darkness. 

You’re starting to slowly adjust to your life without this person, you slowly start to get back to a normal life. 

Stage 6: Working Through and Reconstructing 

This is the stage where you may feel motivated and refreshed, you may feel like a new outlook is taking over. Remember, feeling positive and looking forward is absolutely a good thing! 

Here, you’re starting to rebuild your life with the notion that they are no longer around, you’re feeling inspired and they would be so proud of you. 

Stage 7: Hope and Acceptance 

Here your acceptance of the loss finally becomes your reality. You’ll be able to talk about your loved one and remember them, without your heart feeling like it’s going to explode out of your chest. 

The most important thing to know is that you can feel sad, but you’ll no longer feel pain. 

Successfully Navigating The Seven Stages of Grief 

Seven stages of grief may feel like so much that you have to go through, just to start to feel okay again. 

If you take the time to understand exactly how you’re feeling, and monitor which stage of grief you’re in, you’ll most likely find yourself empowered to move forward. 

Need more content for your optimum wellbeing? Head on over to the wellbeing section and find some positive vibes.