Stages Of Grief

There can’t only be five, can there?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

It is now 22 months since my sister passed away suddenly. I just woke up one morning, and went to wake her, to find that she had passed in her sleep.

What happened afterwards was this crazy mess of things that I still haven’t been able to fully make sense of. It was like one of those kids cartoons, where the character starts to make a snowball, and rolls it down a hill, where it grows and grows, until it is huge, and unstoppable.

The thing is, that that snowball needs somewhere to crash, and in this case, that somewhere was me.

People always say that you get through grief, because you have to, and that time heals. This is true. It does.

The only problem with this conciliatory piece of information, is that they seem to infer that grief is a linear thing, sort of like walking down a path, whereby you will, invariably come to the end of said path, and move on to another one.

This, my dear reader, is not true. Grief is not linear. It is not a straight line from A to B. Instead, it is an incredibly convoluted and complex mass of emotions.

Basically, imagine the biggest, twistiest fastest rollercoaster, which also has parts where there is an excruciatingly long climb before it tips you over the edge.

That is what grief is like.

People try to pigeon hole grief, and have allotted five stages to it. These are:

1. Denial and Isolation

2. Anger

3. Bargaining

4. Depression

5. Acceptance

We apparently spend differing amounts of time going through each stage, and until recently, if has been thought that people go through the stages in the order shown above.

I can tell you from personal experience, that this is not true. I have been through some of these. I haven’t experienced all of them yet. Sometimes I wonder if I ever will.

The truth is that these stages can be experienced out of order, in order, or simply not at all.

Sometimes, things are so difficult that these stages are blocked, and cannot be experienced, and this is completely normal, and quite common, too.

In tomorrow’s post I will look at each of these five stages of grief, and what they mean in real life terms.

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Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.