These are the five stages of grief that many people encounter after losing a loved one. These stages might last months, hours, or minutes. You might find yourself going from one stage to the next and back to the first again.
The first stage of grief is denial, which is also a defense mechanism. When faced with a loss, everything becomes confusing and overwhelming to handle. Thus, your mind automatically goes into denial to protect itself from what just occurred. You need to keep going with your day to day activities and denial helps you accomplish that.
After the denial stage, anger takes over. This is a very important step in the grief process, as it’s a natural reaction to loss and helps you express your feelings. It’s okay to allow yourself to be angry. The more you allow the anger to come out, the sooner you’ll move on to the next stage.
You might find yourself bargaining with Allah (Subhanah Watala) to bring your loved one back. “Allah, please bring my son back and I will donate all my wealth to charity,” you might find yourself saying. “Allah, let my wife live one more day and I will build a Masjid in her name,” another bargain you might try. Bargaining will also come hand in hand with guilt. You will be asking yourself what could you have done differently to prevent this loss. “If I had taken him to the doctor sooner, he might still be alive,” you might think.
After the bargaining stage, reality hits and brings depression along with it. This stage is a very difficult stage and seems like it’s going to keep going for a very long time. However, it’s a normal and expected part of the grief process.
Acceptance doesn’t mean you are “ok” with the loss of your loved one or that you have gotten over it. You may never feel “OK” with this loss. However, acceptance means coming to terms with the fact that your loved one is no longer there. It also means accepting that you can’t bring them back, no matter how hard you try. Acceptance is living with the new norm of not having your loved one in your life. Slowly, you will take one step at a time to move on with your life and keep living.