Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's Five Stages of Grief-as told by Susan L. Fuller
Yes, we've all heard them. Some of us know them by heart...denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I'm not saying you are not going to experience these things. There's a good chance you will, but not necessarily. Although real healing comes when we reach acceptance, too many never get there for reasons that are way more complicated than the 5 stages of grief suggest. What I can say with certainty, is that even if you do experience all of these "stages", you will not experience them in any kind of linear fashion, and you will probably experience each of them many times, not just once before you're done. It would not be uncommon to go from denial to depression, back to denial, to anger, to depression, to acceptance, and back to depression and anger, and then back to acceptance. Nor would it be unusual for anger or depression to pop up years later for a return visit.
What makes grief harder...
• Judging and evaluating your grief...asking am I doing this right?
• Putting up a brave front...pretending you're really doing well when you're clearly not
• Trying to rush it...listening to time tables about what you should be feeling when and trying to fit your grief into someone else's box.
• Trying to forget...the person, the death...this never works
• Spending time with people who don't get it, and are clearly uncomfortable with your pain