It’s a very strange and personal thing. We can grieve a lot of different things. The loss of a loved one. The loss of a relationship. The loss of something dear.

The stages of grief are a very real thing.

The first stage is denial. ‘This isn’t happening. This happens to other people. Not me. If I go to sleep and wake up tomorrow, it will all go away’. Sound familiar?

It’s awful. You pretend that your life is the same as it was before. You think about the good things and pretend that all the bad stuff is just a dream. You are fighting with yourself that this simply cannot be happening.

Yet you wake up the next day and are hit with a metaphorical sledgehammer of your new reality. Your head pounds. Your stomach is in a million knots. Your throat is closed over with anxiety.

The next stage is anger. You become angry at everything and everyone. Angry at the situation. Angry at the people involved. Angry at yourself. Angry at the people in front of you at the supermarket checkout. It’s exhausting. It’s toxic.

You look at things from every angle and get angry at the outcome. Lots of crying and swearing and punching the pillow. Lots of talking out loud when no one is home, angry at all the assholes in your life.

The third stage is bargaining. And also the stage you lose a little bit of dignity. You try to offer alternatives. You lower yourself in the hopes your situation will change back to the normal you know. You try to negotiate in an attempt to lessen your pain and the pain for those around you.

Depression is next. You fall into a dark hole and take solace in the darkness. You feel safe and secure in the darkness. You hide yourself away from loved ones and don’t like to leave the house. You can’t talk to anyone, especially those close to you. It’s too painful.

Staying home is your favourite thing to do. Along with crying. Sometimes you’ll purposely watch a show on tv which you know will make you cry, just to get the tears flowing. Crying is cathartic. Crying is a release. Crying exhausts you, which means that hopefully you’ll be too tired to stay awake all night thinking.

And finally along comes acceptance. You eventually find the peace you’ve been fruitlessly searching for. Sometimes for years. You accept the situation. You accept that your life has irreversibly changed. Those people you love have gone. Sometimes for good.

You begin to look beyond today. There is sunshine on the horizon and you finally feel able to start walking toward it. You may even feel its warmth on your shoulders.

Grief is a process. I believe it’s normal to flow between the stages. You may get stuck on one stage for a while, or go through a few stages very quickly.

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, or a relationship, or an amazing pet, or anything, please feel free to pm me. I would love to chat.

Grief sucks. But it is a part of life. Life is messy, unpredictable and scary. But if can also be amazing, exciting, beautiful and rewarding.

It’s all about the way you choose to view it.