stages of grief
the stages of grief
DISBELIEF: After a death, the most common first stage of grief is disbelief, even if death was expected. This emotional numbness and detachment from reality can help in dealing with the practical arrangements, but can become a problem if it goes on for too long.
To overcome this it can help to see the person who has died. Sometimes it’s not until the actual funeral that the reality of what has happened sinks in.
CLOSURE: Although it may be distressing to attend the funeral or see the body, it is important to say goodbye. It is often the case for people who did not do this, to experience a feeling of regret afterwards.
AGITATION: After the feeling of disbelief and numbness, it is often replaced by a sense of agitation and a yearning for the person who has died. This can affect you in everyday life and may make it difficult to relax, concentrate or sleep.
Some may experience disturbing dreams, others say that they actually see their loved one everywhere they go, particularly in places that they used to spend time together. This can be distressing, but is quite normal as part of the grieving process.
ANGER: It is also quite usual to feel angry towards doctors / medical staff for not preventing the death, towards friends / relatives, or even towards the deceased.
GUILT: It is likely that you will go over in your mind all the things you wished you had said or done, even considering ways you could have done to have prevented death. (Of course death is usually beyond the control of anyone, and we need to be reminded of this.)
Guilt is often experienced if a sense of relief is felt when someone has died, particularly after an illness. This feeling of relief is perfectly natural and very common and is nothing to feel guilty about.
These confusing emotions are generally felt for about 2 weeks after a death and can be followed by periods of sadness / depression.