Understanding How the 5 Stages of Grief Changes You

grayscale photography of crying woman

by Andrea Smith | Andrea Smith is a mother of two living in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. She finds joy in knitting and wine.

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Have you ever noticed a withdrawn person? Most likely they are living with grief. Other things that happen to your mind may be fidgeting, and you may hear, see,  or smell a loved one. Your distress is triggered by your environment. You notice you are feeling off-balance or exhausted. Another symptom is sleep interruptions like nightmares. 

We need to understand some things about grief. The most devasting is a death of a loved one, but there are other types. Divorce or loss of a relationship, loss of job, loss of financial stability, miscarriage, or trauma. Celebrities such as John Travolta shared his pain after losing his wife Kelly Preston. He explained that it is “personal and every individual has a journey.” It’s useful to get a sense of your tragedy. 

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach experiencing grief
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


You feel these shifts.  It hits like a wave, sometimes you can’t get over the shock. You are overwhelmed. everyone is entitled to their struggle, You are bound to ask questions. Denial is overwhelming. Life doesn’t seem to get any easier. It becomes hard. It’s clutching onto the false hope that this unfortunate event is a mistake.


You are entitled to your anger. It’s easier to manage, and in this reality, you feel like an outcast. Difficult as it is to admit,  there is a lot under the surface. You can no longer suppress it. Denial has moved on.  Once you express it’s an anchor for preparing yourself. Anger connects to your reality. It is appropriate in the grieving process. Then there’s isolation. It could be self-imposed or circumstances that have placed you in this position. Perhaps there is conflict in your family relationship. 

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You wish you could trade places. Maybe even beg God for a negotiation Guilt is usual the sidekick of bargaining. You’re still sitting in the false hope.


None of the misunderstandings as grief and depression being the same thing is true. So you reached the point of wanting to hide. Your grief makes you foggy or confused. Your memory is blocked. No way do you feel ready to get back to work or school. 


You’re here ready to face reality. It is not over, but you have the means to start your new life. A new life when your mental state is most stable. You’re Ok with what happened. It doesn’t mean you won’t miss them. There will be more good days than bad. Once there’s acceptance it leads to your healing. 

You’re not the same. Let’s look to forever:

  • There’s a void
  • Emotional wounds or irreparably broken 
  •  your perception of the fairness of life is changed
  • you must look to the silver lining
  • Because of your struggles, you feel closer to others
  • You are connected to others with new friends
  • And sweat what really matters

The Takeaway

You are ready to face the world. Keep in mind you can’t go backward. Your priorities, processes, and motivations have shifted. Appreciate that you are more focused. Rebuilding means strength, resilience, and independence.

Andrea Smith, Author

Connect with Andrea:

LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dresmith31/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JeopardyQueen
Website: https://dawritegurl.com

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