You are not logged in   (login)
Follow us on:
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

Our Community: Message Boards, Blogs, Expert Q&A
End of Life

Grieving For A Loved One

Reviewed by: MySeniorCare Staff
Last Updated: 4/14/2010 10:13:12 AM

When someone loses a loved one, it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions, or in some cases, feel completely 'numb' about the situation. Everyone goes through the stages of grieving in different ways, and the time it takes to go through the grieving process also varies significantly from person to person.

However, psychiatrists such as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and author of the book On Death and Dying reports that everyone goes through the five stages of grief in their own time to deal with the loss. Many psychiatrists and psychologists have adapted the Kubler-Ross model of grieving to provide support for patients. Here are the five stages of grieving that you, or a loved one, may go through after a loss:

Stage 1: Denial or Shock

At this stage, the person who has experienced the loss denies that the loss has even happened. They may pretend as though the person they have lost is still alive and they may withdraw from their usual social life. reports that this stage can last a few months or longer.

Stage 2: Anger

Once the person has overcome the denial stage, it is normal to feel angry at the person who may have been responsible for their loved one's death, God, or the world at large for allowing something like this to happen. In some cases, the anger may turn inwards as if it was the person's own fault for letting the death happen. Regardless of the reason, the person may need help to deal with the extreme feelings of anger in a healthy way.

Stage 3: Bargaining

When the reality of the situation has settled even further, the person going through the grieving process may start bargaining with God or the universe to request that the person they have lost be returned. They may make bargaining pleas to find out how they can get the person they lost back. reports that this stage is a critical time for the person to get support they need to find opportunities. This can be in the form of counseling or forming supportive relationships.

Stage 4: Depression

When the person who is grieving gets through the bargaining stage and realizes that their loved one is no longer going to be a part of their life, they may experience mild to severe symptoms of depression. Depression may cause them to become passive, overly emotional or trigger feelings of hopelessness. reports that this stage can be identified by a loss of social contacts, but requires a readjustment to a new life and taking on new roles as a family member. At this stage, support or counseling is even more important.

Stage 5: Acceptance

Once the person has overcome the challenges of the grieving process, they reach the final stage of positive acceptance. At this stage, they are learning to live and enjoy life without their loved one and are starting to resume everyday activities.

It's important to understand that grief is a natural response to loss and that everyone grieves differently. There is no set schedule or plan for grieving, and it can take several years for some people.

Identifying the five different stages of the grieving process can make it easier to provide support and care for someone who is going through the grieving process, and for helping them cope with the loss in a healthy way.

Speak With A Care Advisor For Free

Speak With A Care Advisor.
It's Free!

First Name

Last Name


Zip Code


Find local, prescreened & rated senior care providers.

Zip Code:

End of Life Community Discussions


Homepage | Home Care | Housing | Alzheimer's | End of Life | Finance & Legal | Health


Care Provider Directory | Services for Providers

In The Community

Ask the Experts | Blogs | Message Boards

Customer Service

Contact Us | Frequently Asked Questions | Glossary of Terms | External Resources | Link to Us | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions


About Us | Advertise | Advisory Board | Career Opportunities | News & Press

Find Senior Care

Copyright © 2008-2012 Read our privacy policy.