The Three Stages of Grief...

Contrary to popular belief there are only three stages of grief:  
Immediate, Intermediate and Long-Term

But there are many emotions like denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance that may or may not impact you as you progress through each stage.  The real challenge arises when you are unable to move from one stage to another regardless of the particular emotions you are experiencing.

It is necessary for you to understand "recovery" from loss only means that you have overcome your grief and adapted to life after the death.
There is no “getting over” the death of someone you love. You don’t get over it you adjust to it.
If you or someone you love are stuck in any of the stages, please contact me.


Stage One - Immediate Grief

While learning to accept the death is vital to this stage, so is learning to deal with the living - your family and friends.  While their intentions are meant to help often times they make you feel worse causing you to isolate yourself even more.  Truth is death doesn't fit nicely into our culture and no one really knows what to say or do.

This stage is about acceptance.

Directly after the death of your child or loved one your body goes on autopilot and you are immolized by the mere idea of acknowledging their death.

In this stage you can expect:

  • ​Your brain and your body will take over helping you through the day-to-day things that you don't usually think about like your own personal care.
  • You probably experience what I call acute death brain fog where it is difficult for you to focus and to remember things.
  • You will be a swirl of emotions.
  • You will slowly start adjusting to the changes in your life without the person
  • Finally, you will start acccept the death of your loved one.  All this means is that you are acknowledging it and not fighting the new reality which is a life without your loved one in it.

Stage Two - Intermediate Grief

In this stage you will become deeply immersed your own feelings and many often start to question their own values and beliefs.  Accepting death of your loved one at this point means you are actually giving in to your feeling and often times, very critically. 

This stage is about learning to COPE with the death and find MEANING to your own life.

You can expect to become very internally focused on your own emotions as you try to make sense of the death.  Finding meaning can be a challenge.

In this stage you can expect:

  • You are emotionally egocentric (focused on your own emotions).
  • You start to move from the mere acceptance of death to analyzing the spiritual and philosophical aspects of your emotions.
  • You are learning to COPE with the death and find MEANING to your own life.
  • You move from mourning to paying tribute to the person you love.
  • This is also where you battle unresolved feelings of regret, guilt and abandonement.
  • To perhaps get stuck.  Being unable to settle unresolved issues is where people normally get stuck.
Stages of Grief - Stage Two - Intermediate Grief

Stage Three - Long-Term Grief

Stage Three, or long-term grief, happens after you have fully accepted the loss and are ready to move on.  But let's be clear, moving on is not the same as forgetting. Achieving the closure you hear so often about simply means you have finally arrived at a place where you feel alive again.

This stage is about CREATING your new normal.

In this stage you redirect and refocus your attention and life in the outside world.  You are focused on rebuilding your life with the new normal and the new you.

In this stage you can expect:

  • ​You realize YOU have the CHOICE to move forward.
  • The ability to move forward occurs only after you have fully accepted the loss and are ready to move on.
  • You start to re-engage with the world at large and rebuild your life with the new normal - YOUR new normal.
  • Feelings and emotions that used to paralyze you don’t seem to carry as much weight.
  • You realize there is no shame in being happy.
  • You find you can live with the memory of your loved one without it affecting your daily actions and feelings.

Help is just a phone call away!  Call for your FREE consultation!