Nov 10

Navigating the Different Stages of Grief

Admin John Hossack

Grief, with its many layers and contours, can often feel like an overwhelming maze of emotions. Each person’s journey through grief is unique, influenced by the nature of the loss, personal experiences, and even cultural factors. At John Hossack Funeral Services, we have been privileged to provide support to numerous individuals during their grief journeys, offering understanding and guidance as they traverse through its various stages.

Deep Dive into the Five Stages of Grief

Denial: The sudden onset of loss can be numbing. Denial serves as a defence mechanism, allowing us to buffer the immediate shock of the loss, insulating us from the gravity of our new reality. During this stage, the world might seem meaningless, and everything can appear unreal.

Anger: As the masking effects of denial dissipate, the pain is reintroduced. To deal with it, anger surfaces. This emotion can be directed towards other people, a higher power, or even inanimate objects. It’s a natural part of the grieving process, serving as a recognition of the true extent of pain.

Bargaining: A glimmer of hope can lead to bargaining. Often, it’s an attempt to strike a deal with a higher power. Thoughts like, “If only I had done this differently” or “I’ll be a better person if…” are common, reflecting our need to regain some semblance of control.

Depression: As the reality of the loss sinks in, sadness and regret predominate. This stage feels as though it’s indicative of a mental health disorder, but it’s a natural, albeit deeply sorrowful, response to personal loss. It represents the recognition of the true magnitude of the loss.

Acceptance: This is not about reaching a happy ending or even a resolution. It’s about coming to terms with the new reality. Acceptance is about acknowledging the loss and learning to live with it. It’s a recognition that life, albeit changed, will go on.

Guidance Through the Grieving Process

While these stages are universally recognised, it’s essential to understand that they aren’t linear. Individuals might oscillate between stages or experience some stages more intensely than others. Moreover, not everyone goes through all these stages, or in this order.

As we navigate the maze of grief, it’s crucial to practise patience with ourselves and allow for the natural progression of healing. External support can be invaluable during this time. At John Hossack Funeral Services, we recommend seeking therapy or grief counselling. Professional guidance can offer coping techniques tailored to individual needs. Joining a support group can also be beneficial. Sharing one’s journey with others who are going through similar experiences can provide comfort and understanding.

Furthermore, turning to close friends and family during these trying times can be profoundly healing. They serve as a reminder that even in the face of loss, we aren’t alone. Their shared memories, understanding, and presence can be a beacon of hope and comfort.

Remember, grief is a personal journey, one that is as unique as the individual experiencing it. It’s essential to give oneself the grace and space to heal, leaning on support when needed, and trusting in the resilience of the human spirit.