The grieving process is an umbrella term for the many emotions one could feel. These feelings and emotions often occur during times of stress, especially after the death of a loved one. It is important to know that, while the emotions are believed to happen in a certain order, it isn’t like that for everyone. For example, if a loved one died, not everyone will feel anger or depression. Some might feel just one of the following emotions, or even none at all.

Also, everyone will feel the emotions for different amounts of time. It all depends on the relationship you had with that person. If you notice any of these emotions from someone you know, there are ways you can help. For instance, you can stay by their side. This can be sitting or standing next to them.

Denial

This is supposed to be the first emotion one feels in the grieving process. One in denial may say, “This can’t be happening!”, or, “I want to wake up from this nightmare!”. Since we refuse to accept what has happened, we get more time to prepare for the emotions to arise.

Anger

Once angered, we believe that life isn’t fair. Depending on the situation, we might take our anger out on the doctor, hospital staff, family, or friends. This is believed to be the most intense emotion in the grieving process.

Remember: one that’s grieving isn’t seeking your advice. Instead, stay by their side and listen to what they have to say. Offer a shoulder for them to cry on. You can further comfort them with hugs and by providing tissues.

Bargaining

At this point, the griever is desperate to undo what happened. They might say, “I’ll do anything if you bring him back!”. This can be a sign that they’re feeling guilt. The griever is willing to be a better person if their loved one is brought back. They feel that the grieving event is their fault.

Depression

When life moves on despite our pleads, we enter into a state of sadness. The depressed one now realizes how empty life is. In this case, depression is not a disorder as it’s normal to feel this way. However, do keep an eye out for any signs of suicidal behavior (isolation, drugs, alcohol, etc.) or suicidal talk. If you hear any plans on suicide, call 911 right away.

Acceptance

You’re finally able to come back to reality. Acceptance doesn’t mean what happened is okay. You fully realize that there’s no what if’s or that the person could be saved. Just because you accepted life, doesn’t mean that life is gonna be all rainbows and butterflies. Most likely, depression will come back, but you’ll also have happy days as well.