Many of our readers are likely familiar with the traditional five stages of grief or loss. These stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The idea that these various states are “stages” is somewhat deceiving. Usually, when a living creature goes through various stages of development, the process is linear. One stage completes, another begins and the cycle progresses one stage after another. The truth about divorce-related grief, and many other kinds of grief for that matter, is that these stages are almost never linear.
Instead, one generally progresses through a stage or two and then reverts back to an earlier stage or skips ahead to another. One can cycle through the various stages of grief in seemingly randomized order many, many times. Sometimes a stage of grief can linger for days, weeks, months or even years, while another stage of grief may come and go in a matter of minutes or hours. Sometimes various stages of grief can occur simultaneously.
There is no one “right” way to grieve. What remains important is that you process your grief in healthy ways and strive to keep moving forward in that process. If you have questions about how to process your grief, a qualified counselor may be helpful. There are also numerous helpful books which exist on this subject.
Many individuals experience the process of grieving in waves. Once they feel that they have processed their grief, time passes and another wave of grief hits. If this happens to you, do not despair. Seek guidance when necessary and take comfort in the fact that you are not the only one who is experiencing this process right now.
: The Huffington Post, “What Your Girlfriends Won’t Tell You About Grief and Divorce,” Beth Cone Kramer, March 24, 2015