Grief is something that every one of us will experience at some point in our life and might be caused not only by the death of a loved one, but by any loss, including divorce, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job or by any other major change in our life. Modern psychology identifies five stages of grief therapy (though not everyone experiences all five of them and the stages don’t come in the same order for all of us). Here they are:
- Denial – grief being an overwhelming emotion, the first reaction of the grief sufferer might be to pretend that the loss has not happened at all;
- Anger – the strong emotion has a masking effect and hides the pain caused by the loss. It may be directed against others, even against the lost person, but usually not in the form of rage or directly expressed anger;
- Bargaining – in this phase, the grieving individual might try to make spiritual promises in return for relief from grief;
- Depression – unlike the previous, active phases of grief, this phase is about embracing the loss. It very often involves isolation;
- Acceptance – though usually not a happy phase, acceptance means that the grieving person has learned how to integrate the loss and to live with it.