Understanding the Stages of Grief and Tips on How to Help a Grieving Friend

By: Vito Arahovites
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Dealing with the loss of something you deeply care about is usually quite painful. While it may not seem like all the sadness and pain will never go away, grief can result in healing and immense personal growth. Understanding the stages of grief can help you in moving on and achieving healing after experiencing grief. The Charles J. O’Shea Funeral Homes offers the following tips on helping a grieving friend, based on the 5 stages of grief:

 

Stage 1 – Denial and Isolation

This is usually the first stage of grief, and it involved denying that the situation is really happen. It is one of the natural defence mechanisms to buffer the instant shock of losing their loved one. The person simply temporarily blocks out the reality in order to rationalise the overwhelming emotions. That is why it is important to first spend time understanding the stages of grief.

Stage 2 – Anger

Gradually, as the isolation and denial start to wear, the reality re-emerges along with the pain and usually the person is not ready. This immense pain is expressed at anger at family, friends or even at the deceased person. The person also feels guilty about being angry, which only makes them even angrier.

 

Stage 3 – Bargaining

In this particular step in understanding the stages of grief, the normal human reaction to felling vulnerable and helpless is usually a need of regaining control. This even includes making a deal with our higher power or God to attempt to prevent or postpone the loss. It is simply one of the ways of preventing from dealing with the very painful reality.

 

Stage 4 – Depression

Depression comes from the regret and sadness of the practical effects that relate to the loss. This includes worrying about all the burial costs, and then afterwards it develops into worrying about how you will be able to live without your loved one.

 

Stage 5 – Acceptance

In understanding the stages of grief, it is worth noting that not everyone reaches this final stage of acceptance. It comes after the person has spent time grieving and making their peace, and it is usually marked with calm and withdrawal. Once you reach this final stage of grief, you are now ready to move on.

 

By understanding the stages of grief, you can easily help a friend through the grieving process. At Charles J. O’Shea Funeral Homes we understand that dealing with loss is a deeply singular and personal experience, especially due to the many emotions you are going through during this trying time. However, we are here to make the funeral process go smoothly so that you can begin the natural healing process. Feel free to contact us at any time with any questions you may have. 

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