Grief: The Steps You’ll Go Through and When to Get Support

Grief: The Steps You’ll Go Through and When to Get Support

Grief is a multifaceted emotional response to loss, encompassing a range of feelings such as sadness, anger, confusion, and longing. It’s a natural and universal human experience that can be triggered by the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, or any significant life change.


At its core, grief is a process of adaptation and adjustment to the new reality created by loss. It’s a journey that unfolds over time, characterised by fluctuations in emotions and periods of intense pain, as well as moments of peace, acceptance, and even joy as healing progresses.


Grief is not linear or predictable; it’s unique to each individual and influenced by various factors such as cultural beliefs, personal experiences, and the nature of the loss itself. It can manifest physically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually, impacting every aspect of a person’s life.


Ultimately, grief is a testament to the depth of our love and connection to what we have lost. It’s a journey of remembrance, reconciliation, and ultimately, renewal—a process of honoring the past while embracing the possibilities of the future.


The Stages of Grief


Denial: The initial stage of grief often involves a sense of disbelief or denial, as individuals struggle to come to terms with the reality of their loss. Denial serves as a protective mechanism, shielding individuals from overwhelming emotions and allowing them to gradually process the magnitude of their loss at their own pace.


Anger: As the reality of loss begins to sink in, individuals may experience intense feelings of anger and resentment. This anger may be directed towards themselves, others, or even the deceased, as they grapple with the unfairness and injustice of their circumstances.


Bargaining: In an attempt to regain a sense of control or make sense of their loss, individuals may engage in bargaining behaviors, bargaining with a higher power or attempting to negotiate the terms of their grief. This stage is characterised by a desperate search for meaning and understanding in the face of profound loss.


Depression: As the full weight of grief settles in, individuals may experience deep feelings of sadness, despair, and hopelessness. This stage of grief may be accompanied by physical symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping, as well as emotional withdrawal and social isolation.


Acceptance: The final stage of grief involves coming to terms with the reality of loss and integrating it into one’s sense of self. While acceptance does not necessarily mean the absence of pain or sadness, it represents a willingness to embrace the reality of loss and move forward with life.


Every person experiences the stages of grief in their own unique way, influenced by factors such as personality, coping mechanisms, and the nature of the loss. Some people may move through the stages sequentially, while others may cycle through them unpredictably. The duration and intensity of each stage can vary widely from person to person, emphasising the deeply individual nature of the grieving process. It’s essential to honour and respect each individual’s unique journey through grief, providing empathy, support, and understanding along the way.


When to Seek Support


While grief is a natural and necessary process, there are times when the burden of grief becomes too heavy to bear alone. It’s important to recognise when professional support may be beneficial, such as:


Prolonged Grief: If feelings of intense sadness, despair, or hopelessness persist for an extended period, interfering with daily functioning and quality of life, it may be a sign of complicated grief that requires professional intervention.


Social Withdrawal: If grief leads to social withdrawal, isolation, or an inability to connect with others, it may be helpful to seek support from a therapist or support group to address underlying feelings of loneliness and disconnection.


Self-Destructive Behaviors: Engaging in self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse, self-harm, or reckless behaviour as a means of coping with grief may indicate the need for professional help to develop healthier coping strategies.


Unresolved Trauma: If grief is complicated by unresolved trauma, such as past losses, abuse, or traumatic events, it may be necessary to work with a therapist experienced in trauma-informed care to address underlying issues and promote healing.


Grief is a deeply personal and requires patience, compassion, and self-care. By understanding the stages of grief and recognising when to seek support, individuals can navigate the complexities of loss with resilience and grace. Whether seeking solace in the support of loved ones, the guidance of a therapist, or the camaraderie of a support group, know that you are not alone on this journey of healing. 


Learn more how NAWA Wellness can you HERE

Get In Touch Now To Start Your Journey

get in touch