Most of us have experienced grief at some point in our lives. It is a natural and emotional response to the loss of someone or something important. Grief is universal, yet a very personal experience. Coping with the emotions of grief can often be overwhelming, as it can disrupt our physical and mental well-being, causing a significant impact on our daily lives. In this article, we’ll discuss the emotion of grief in depth

Understanding Grief

In simple terms, grief is a response to the loss of something or someone we love. We may experience grief as a result of the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or even the loss of some important possessions, such as an ancestral home, etc. While everyone has a different way of coping with grief,  Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a psychiatrist, found that grief can generally be divided into 5 common stages. They are:

  • Denial

The pain of losing someone or something is often overwhelming, thus, the first stage or reaction to loss is denial. In this stage, people find it hard to accept the reality of the loss. They might experience emotions of shock, and a few people may feel emotionally numb for a while as well. Denial acts as a temporary shield, allowing people to bear the initial shock of the loss and process their emotions gradually.

  • Anger

As people slowly move through denial, the intense emotions suppressed during the denial stage often manifest as anger. Often, anger serves as a mask to hide the emotions of pain. People may direct their anger towards themselves, others, or even the situation itself. This stage serves as an emotional release, allowing people to express the pain and frustration associated with their loss. It’s important to know that anger is a normal part of the grieving process but managing anger during this stage is crucial

  • Bargaining

Grief can make people feel helpless. Bargaining is an attempt to regain a sense of control or reverse the loss. This involves making deals or promises, either to God or within oneself. Common phrases during this stage include “If only…” and “What if I had done things differently?” 

  • Depression

In this stage, the pain of reality actually sets in, and people might feel a sense of sadness and despair. They begin to understand the loss’s effect on their lives. At this stage, people might express themselves by crying. Feeling overwhelmed, regretful and lonely are also common emotions in this stage. Depression is a normal part of the grieving process, however, one may need to consult a mental health professional if it goes on for a long time.

  • Acceptance

The final stage of grief is acceptance, where people begin to find a way to live with the reality of the loss. Acceptance doesn’t mean that people have forgotten the loved one, it simply means that they are adapting to the new reality after the loss. While they might still feel sad, they can slowly move on with their lives. It is important to know that people might take their own time reaching this stage,

How to deal with the grieving process?

While grief is incredibly tough, there are ways in which one can cope with and overcome these emotions. Some of them are:

  • Acknowledge your pain and allow yourself to feel all the emotions associated with grief.
  • Make sure to prioritize self-care by getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in activities that bring you comfort and relaxation
  • Seek emotional support from friends and family. Talking about your feelings will help you feel less isolated
  • Do not try to rush or force yourself out of grief. Suppressing emotions can make the situation worse
  • Consider seeking professional help if you see grief turning into symptoms of depression.

Every person goes through the stages of grief in their own way. You may go back and forth between them, or skip one or more stages altogether. However, reminders of your loss, like the anniversary of a death or a familiar song, can trigger the return of grief. In such cases, it might be helpful to seek therapy from a professional to help deal with these feelings in the long term. 



Sakshi is a Psychologist with expertise in research and writing, she can make the most complex topic sound simple! She has completed MSC in Counselling Studies from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Also, She loves books and music and forgets the world once earphones are plugged in.