Grief - What is "Normal"?

By: Tom Gallagher
Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Grief is a normal reaction to losing someone or something significant to you. You might experience a range of feelings, including despair or loneliness. At Gallagher Funeral Home, we recognize that everybody deals with grief differently. However, when you acknowledge your feelings, start taking care of yourself, and seek assistance, you can begin to heal.

The Stages Of Grief

Each person's experience of grieving is different. Nevertheless, there are five phases of grieving.

  • Denial: When you learn of death for the first time, it's natural to think, "This cannot be real." You may experience shock or numbness. This is a short-term solution to the surge of overpowering emotion. It is a natural defense mechanism.
  • Anger: As reality sinks in, you face your loss and sorrow. You might feel powerless and annoyed and these emotions eventually manifest as anger. You may aim it toward other individuals, a greater force, or even life itself. It's understandable to feel upset with a loved one who has passed away and left you alone.
  • Bargaining: You contemplate what you could have done differently to avert the loss throughout this stage. "Only if..." and "What if..." are frequent thoughts. You may also attempt to reach an agreement with a higher power.
  • Depression: Grief develops when you realize the absence and its influence on your life. Signs of depression are sobbing, sleep difficulties, and a reduced appetite. You might feel burdened, remorseful, and alone.
  • Acceptance: At this point in the grieving process, you have accepted the truth of your loss. It is irreversible. While you are still upset, you can continue with your life.

Each experiences these periods uniquely. You may alternate between them or miss one or more of them entirely. There is no set way to do it when you are grieving, so there is no "normal" concept of grief. It would help if you found what gives you solace and how to recover from the grief. For details about our customized funeral services, please call Gallagher Funeral Home at 318-640-1375.

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