Have you ever heard of the 7 stages of grief? Shock/Disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance? Well, don’t entirely throw these ideas out the window, but the concept of the 7 stages of grief as a step-by-step “how to grieve” program isn’t so much to be believed anymore. Sure, these are all emotions you may feel along your grief journey, but as you can learn in pastoral care of grief and loss, no two people’s grief journeys are the same.
The Hardest Stage Of The Grief Journey
Just like not everyone’s grief journey will be the same, the toughest part of the journey will not be the same for everyone.
- The News – Some people would say that the hardest part is finding out that a loved one has passed. The shock and realization weighing heavily on you can definitely be tough.
- After the Funeral – Some may also point to the moment the funeral’s over as being the biggest struggle. Once everyone’s gone home, and you’re left to live your life as if this monumental loss hasn’t just happened by going back to work and life as usual. It can be a sobering moment for some.
- Some Other Time – Some would say another part of the grieving process is more difficult.
The point is, grief can be very difficult and each person will experience it differently.
What Does A Grieving Process Look Like?
As we mentioned, no one’s process through grieving a loved one will look the same, and many times it will not look like neatly compartmentalized little stages, but rather like a ball ricocheting in your mind.
From time to time you may feel one, or all of these emotions again after the initial passing of your loved one. Say you’ve just heard a song you and your departed spouse loved, or perhaps it’s December and you’re left alone, grieving through the holidays. These are triggers that can bring about anger, anxiety, and depression, and it’s completely normal and common for them to pop in and out of your mind at random times.
What Is A Healthy Way To Navigate Grief?
No one should have to navigate the complicated journey that grief presents in your mind alone. Everything you’re feeling can be worked through. This time of year in particular leaves people grieving through the holidays with traditions and memories of passed loved ones; So there’s no better time to seek out pastoral care of grief and loss to help you navigate the tough journey you are on. Look into our modules for your church’s grief group today.