This is part one of a three part series on dealing with the grief that comes with death. In this blog post, we will talk about the different stages of grief after the death of a loved one.

The death of someone close to you is one of the most difficult things a human being must face. Grief is a natural reaction to death, and it is grief that helps us move on.

It’s important to remember that there isn’t just one type of grief. The type of grief that a person goes through depends on many different factors. How close the deceased was – a child, grandparent, spouse, or friend’s death might all illicit different kinds of grief. How the deceased passed is also a factor – old age, after a struggle with cancer, or a sudden accident.

Grief hits everyone differently; some people will be outwardly emotional, while others will experience their grief internally. It’s important to understand that people experience grief differently and just because a person doesn’t cry or get angry, doesn’t mean that they aren’t grieving.

These five stages of grief come from—and it’s important to note that not everyone will go through each stage, nor will everyone go through the stages in this order.

Denial: This can’t be happening. At first, denial can help to numb the pain of the immediate shock of bad news. It is a normal reaction to rationalize overwhelming emotions.

Anger: Who is responsible for making this happen? Why? Anger is sometimes how we deal with things—we get angry with the doctor, with God, with your spouse, or all of the above.

Bargaining: If only we would have seen the warning signals sooner. “If only” and “what if” statements enter your mind: “what if I had just picked up milk on the way home? Then she wouldn’t have been out and gotten in the accident.” Bargaining comes down to trying to regain control of the situation.

Depression: Why should I go on? After the loss of a loved one, depression can set in. Life can seem foggy and it feels like you may never get past the loss. Although it might not seem like it, depression is a natural reaction to death—it is part of coming to terms with the fact that your loved one is gone.

(If your depression leads you to suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to get help. Whether from the suicide prevention lifeline, your doctor, or a therapist—reach out to someone.)

Acceptance: I understand what has happened. Acceptance can be hard to come by, and some people might not come to it without the help of a therapist. Acceptance does not mean that the death no longer hurts or that you are fine again; acceptance means that you understand that your loved one is physically gone.

If you or someone you know is struggling with grief, please don’t hesitate to call Reka at 402-881-8125. You can also email her at or connect with her via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: x1klima via photopin cc