Handling Grief and its 5 stages

How I am coping with my loss.

Staying Present in my grief.

Keep in mind theses stages do not always occur in a linear way for most people.

The 5 Stages of Grief include

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

The 6th Stage of Grief

David Kessler recently wrote a follow up book about a possible sixth stage of grief; Finding Meaning.

Remember that we are complex people with complex emotions, so it’s very natural to experience multiple feelings simultaneously. It is also possible to experience the stages more than once.


I had a terrible two weeks since my mama died. I am still in disbelief and I still feel I can walk up to her door and she will answer me with a smile and a “whats up”? I haven’t come to acceptance as yet that I will never in this lifetime see her again. I can only hope and live a life in accordance, to meet her in the next.

The brain doesn’t like to have to deal with difficult feelings and emotions, so it is not uncommon to experience feelings of denial when going through grief.

When going through the denial stage of grieving, it is important to be understanding of yourself and where you are in your process. During this stage you may feel like you actually forget the reality of things I surely did.


The anger stage can be quite jarring and unexpected. You’re no longer in denial that something is occurring or has occurred, but there are often many feelings of anger associated. It could be anger at the reason things have happened, anger over all the things you were not able to do or won’t be able to do, and it could even show up as anger at yourself for not having done more or not being able to stop things from happening.

I am experiencing both Denial and Anger at the same time!!! This is a hard journey and I am so confused. But it’s ok to be


Although it is normal and natural to experience feelings of anger, it is important to not stay fused with this stage. Moving through the anger takes time, and it is possible. Let yourself feel what you need to feel and know that expressing the anger is one of the best ways to move through it.


Lord heard me bargaining, begging for one more day. Let her wake up and I will do anything Lord. I bargained for days!!!!

As your brain is trying to come to grips with what is going on and what you’re experiencing, it will try to bargain. It is still not ready to fully accept the reality of things and it is really trying to come up with any other possible outcomes. This is the stage where the “what ifs” can take over, and you’ll find yourself re-playing things over and over again. Logic has sorta taken a step out of the process and emotion has taken over.

Allow yourself to think about the “what ifs” but also bring some logic back to the situation. Give yourself the permission to see all the sides of the situation, and work on living your best life, even if things are very different. You are adjusting to your “new normal” and that adjustment takes time.


The longer I went through the process, the more I realized the reality of things as they are and not as I want them to be. Depression may come in waves or it may show up and take hold of you for a while. You may find yourself withdrawn and uninterested in things that once brought you joy. It could be that you experience waves of sadness or feeling very down.

The longer I went through the process, the more I do realized the reality of things as they are and not as I want them to be.


Many people report a feeling of going through the motions of life, and this can go on for an extended period of time. Depression is a part of the adjustment and healing process, but much like anger, you don’t want to stay fused with it forever. If you are unable to push through the depression stage, and you do feel like you’ve become fused with it, I would suggest finding someone to talk to you about the symptoms. Yes, it is a natural part of grieving, but it is also important to make sure you are safe and taking care of yourself mentally and physically.


Although I may never fully get to a complete state of acceptance, at least not for a while, it is what many believe to be the final stage of grief process. The acceptance stage is not where you are ok with what happened, but you are starting to accept the new reality of going on with your life in spite of the shifts and changes.

Although there may be feelings of accepting what has happened, there will still be hard days and times when you cycle back through the other stages. You learn to live your life again, and you start to realize that your life is not over.

Change is hard, and forced change feels almost impossible. It is possible to get through the stages into the acceptance stage, but you will need to give yourself a lot of compassion and understanding to achieve this.

Although I may never fully get to a complete state of acceptance, at least not for a while, it is what many believe to be the final stage of grief process.



I love that Kubler-Ross and Kessler have added an addition stage to the 5 Stages of Grief. I guess now they will be called the 6 Stages of Grief, and I can’t wait to read their new book, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. When I speak with people going through grief, I often encourage them to find ways to establish meaning or to find purpose as they go through difficult times.

My advice to anyone including myself going through the 5 Stages of Grief, or should I say the 6 Stages of Grief is to remember that time really is the great healer. No one grieves exactly like someone else, and everyone is entitled to their own process. It’s hard, it’s messy at times, but it is a necessary part of living. You will have to figure out what works best for your own process, and try to remember to be good to yourself as you shift though these stages.

My Grand Mother Helen Leona Hernandez was amazing and the way she touched me her family and the public is legendary!!!!

May God enjoy her singing as she wished He would.


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