Understanding the Five Stages of Grief

Grief Counseling Brooklyn


What are the five stages of grief?

Many people find that participating in grief counseling to be helpful when they are experiencing grief because of the loss of a loved one. Grief is the natural response when someone you love is torn from your life. There are five common (not required) experiences of people who are grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

The truth about the stages of grief

Almost 30 years ago, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross developed what is referred to at the five stages of grief in her book “On Death and Dying.” Since then, these stages have been used to help those struggling with the grieving process learn how to cope with what they’re feeling and understand that they are perfectly normal.

However, because the stages of grief have been analyzed and studied in pop psychology, many believe there is a right and wrong way to grieve. Even some professionals in the field believe there’s an order to this process and if you’re not following it to a T, you’re failing at grieving correctly. Luckily, there is no right or wrong way in which to cope with the death of a loved one. According to Huffington Post, “The truth is, you can’t force an order on pain. You can’t make it tidy or predictable.”

Takeaways about the stages

Per Huffington Post, there are some important things to remember about grief:

  • Grief has its own lifespan, unique to you. Don’t let anyone tell you, “You should be over this by now.”
  • The pain of loss will shift and change. Sometimes it will feel heavy, and other times, it will feel light.
  • Anger will happen, as will fear, peace, joy, guilt, confusion, and a range of other things. You will transition between many feelings and even experience them all at once.
  • Sometimes you will be tired of grief. You will turn away. And you’ll turn back. And you’ll turn away. Grief has a rhythm of its own.
  • Grief can absolutely make you feel crazy. This does not mean you are crazy.

Grief counseling at North Brooklyn

There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and at North Brooklyn Marriage and Family Therapy, we understand that. Our trained and certified counselors are adept at helping you deal with the loss of a loved one without judgement or a timeline. Please contact us today and let us help you move at your own pace through the grieving process.