What is grief?
When grieving due to a loss or bereavement there are considered to be 5 stages

In this document I am simply outlining what my experience of grieving for a loved one has meant to me. Grieving is a very personal experience for everyone. No one human can or should tell you how to grieve. That is not the intent here.

What I hope this will help you do, is identify what you are feeling. Also it is to let you know you are not alone with how you are feeling. I found it very helpful to have caring people around me to help.

At some time in life we all feel loss and must find a way to cope with it.

If you have grieved for someone and wish to add your experiences here so as to help others understand, please do not hesitate to Email us


In the denial stage we refuse to believe what has happened. We try in our mind to tell ourselves that life is as it was before our loss. We can even make believe to an extent by re enacting rituals that we used to go through with our loved one.

Things like: making an extra cup of tea for our loved one who is no longer there or rushing back to tell someone that you have met an old friend. Perhaps you may be flashing back to times and conversations in the past with someone, as though they are here with us now. Introducing someone accidentally by your loved ones name to someone else. They can all be part of this stage.


We get angry. The anger can manifest itself in many ways. We can blame others for our loss. We can become easily agitated, having emotional outbursts. We can even become angry with ourselves. Care must be taken here not to turn this anger inwards. Release of this anger is a far better way to cope with grief in my experience.

I found actually apologising to people after an outburst and explaining you are not yourself, for given reasons, was often accepted. This was especially the case with people who I know well.


Bargaining can be with ourselves or if you are religious, with your god. Often we will offer something to try to take away the reality and pain of what has happened. We may try to make a deal, to have our loved one back as they were before the tragic event occurred. It is only human to want thing as they were before. You may only realize that this is happening to you when someone points it out to you. I know it took me a long time to realize.


Depression is a very likely outcome for all people that grieve for a loss. This is what I would consider the most difficult stage of the five to deal with.

There can be a the feeling listlessness and tiredness. You may be wandering around in a daze, thinking that you are feeling numb. You may be bursting helplessly into tears, seemingly for no reason. Feeling like there is no purpose to life any more. Feeling guilty, as if everything is your own fault. You may find you feel like you are being punished. Pleasure and joy can be difficult to achieve, even from things and activities which you have always gained delight. There can even be thoughts of suicide.

There are many different ways in which this stage of grief can manifest itself. If you at any time in this stage feel like doing yourself any harm, please do seek professional counseling. Self preservation is a must.


The final stage of grief. It is when you realize that life has to go on. You may still have thoughts of your loved one, but less intense and less frequent. You can here accept your loss. You should now be able to regain your energy and goals for the future. It may take some time to get here but you will.

This stage can take any amount of time to get to. I have known people take years or months or even days, to decide that they can cope with their loss and continue with their own lives. Trying to remember all the good that had transpired, with the loved one can often be a help.

Further less personal but certainly still helpful information is available here

My thanks goes to all who helped me in discussions of what grief and bereavement can mean to a person especially Mr Roger Bowers.

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