A grieving woman is being comforted by another woman as they sit on a park bench.

Dealing with grief is a universal human experience that everyone encounters at some point in their lives.

It wasn’t until the death of my son and walking through years of recovery that I began to understand that grief is not something that goes away. It has become a part of me. 

What has also struck me is that grief is connected to other precious things that are lost. Loved ones, valuables, relationships, identity …

The stages are all the same although not necessarily always in a certain order and not for a specified amount of time. It depends on our thoughts and perceptions about what has been lost.

The greatest gift I have given myself is to work hard on not remembering what led up to the loss of my son, but what a gift he was and still is. Gratitude is the balm for grief.

One thing is sure, we need others by our side as we walk out our grief. if you are dealing with grief and feel lost in that spiral of hopelessness, I invite you to explore the pages on this site and better yet – join our Circles Journey Groups. You don’t have to do anything when you join. You can observe, soak in the conversations, and share as you are able. To heal takes time … take all the time you need.

Here is some helpful information on what the stages of grief are:


Understanding the Stages of Grief

The stages of grief, as outlined by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, can provide a framework for understanding and navigating the complex emotions that come with loss.


The first stage of grief is often denial. It’s a defense mechanism that helps us cope with overwhelming emotions. During this stage, individuals may find it hard to believe that the loss has occurred or may try to avoid accepting the reality of the situation.


As the initial shock wears off, feelings of anger may surface. It’s natural to feel angry at the unfairness of the loss or at specific individuals or circumstances related to it. Anger is a common and valid emotion during the grieving process.


In the bargaining stage, individuals may attempt to negotiate with a higher power or try to make deals to reverse or lessen the impact of the loss. It’s a way of seeking control in a situation that feels uncontrollable.


Depression is a significant stage of grief characterized by overwhelming sadness and a sense of hopelessness. It’s crucial to acknowledge and process these emotions rather than trying to suppress them.


The final stage of grief is acceptance. It doesn’t mean that the pain goes away entirely, but rather that individuals begin to find ways to live with the loss and integrate it into their lives. Acceptance allows for healing and moving forward.

Managing Expectations

During the grieving process, it’s essential to let go of “shoulds” and unrealistic expectations. Tears, moments of sadness, and changes in daily life are all normal parts of grieving. It’s okay not to feel like living life to the fullest during this time – healing takes time and patience.

By recognizing and understanding the stages of grief, individuals can navigate their emotions more effectively and find ways to cope with their loss. It’s essential to give oneself permission to grieve and seek support from loved ones or professionals if needed. Remember, everyone’s grief journey is unique, and healing is a personal process that unfolds at its own pace.

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