Understanding the stages of grief


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Recovering from a losing a loved one is a personal journey that requires effort and attention.

Shakinah Silverberg, Managing Editor

Many people, including those in the Iona community, are experiencing grief during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still prevalent in many parts of the world, including our own country. There have been grievances for the loss of a job that one may have loved, the loss of a family member, the loss of a pet, the loss of a relationship that has ended or even the loss of access to education.  

Reasons that people grieve vary so widely that the way in which one person does so may be completely opposite to another grieving for the same or similar reasons. Since grief is such a individual experience, giving general coping mechanisms is insufficient. Instead, sharing knowledge and giving support are the best ways to help those you may know who are grieving, and if you yourself are grieving, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has many beneficial resources for both pandemic and non-pandemic related mental health concerns. 

As  mentioned earlier, there are many forms of grieving that can be experienced. Understanding this is an important first step in approaching what many know as the ‘seven stages of grief.” The seven stages are shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression and acceptance/hope. Seeing these seven stages listed out makes them seem so simple. Yet, what can’t be seen from this list is that these stages don’t always progress in this order. You may go from stage one to stage five back to stage three. This can make reaching stage seven feel impossible. So, let’s look at an eight-part list written by Sara Schairer, a personal growth author. 

Step 1. Stay present with your feelings 

Step 2. Plan ahead for special days 

Step 3. Understand the fluidity of grief 

Step 5. Meditation 

Step 6. Continue to connect with your loved one 

Step 7. Seek help 

Step 8. Be gentle and patient. 

Source: https://chopra.com/articles/8-ways-to-heal-your-soul-after-a-loss