Grief is a natural response to losing someone or something that’s important to you. You may feel a variety of emotions, like sadness or loneliness. And you might experience it for a number of different reasons. Maybe a loved one died, a relationship ended, or you lost your job. Other life changes, like chronic illness or a move to a new home, can also lead to grief.  Everyone grieves differently, but if you understand your emotions, take care of yourself, and seek support, you can heal.  Your feelings may happen in different stages as you come to terms with your loss. Every person goes through these phases in his or her own way. You may go back and forth between them, or skip one or more stages altogether. Reminders of your loss, like the anniversary of a death or a familiar song, can trigger the return of grief.You can’t control the process, but it’s helpful to know the reasons behind your feelings.There are 5 common stages to grief:

  1. Denial: When you first learn of loss it is normal to think “This isn’t happening”
  2. Anger: You may feel frustrated and angry
  3. Bargaining: This is the stage where you may think “If only…..” What if”
  4. Depression: Sadness may set in as you come to terms with the loss
  5. Acceptance: You accept the reality of your los

There’s no “normal” amount of time to grieve. Your grieving process depends on a number of things, like your personality, age, beliefs, and support network. The type of loss is also a factor. For example, chances are you’ll grieve longer and harder over the sudden death of a loved one than, say, the end of a romantic relationship.  With some time, your sadness eases.You’ll be able to feel happiness and joy again along with grief. You’ll be able to return to your daily life.  In some cases, grief doesn’t get better. You may not be able to accept the loss. Doctors call this “complicated grief.” Talk to a professional if you have any of the following: trouble keeping up your normal routine, like going to work and cleaning the house thoughts that life isn’t worth living, or of harming yourself, an inability to stop blaming yourself.  Remember you are not alone!  We all experience grief and loss at some point in our lives, it is how we deal with it that matters to our mental health well being!

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