Myrna Grandgenett describes ten stages of grieving:
Stage One: Shock and Denial – The pain is too great to handle and the system is overwhelmed and reality is blocked out. “This can’t be happening”.
Stage Two: Emotions Erupt – The shock passes and emotions take over. They are heightened in response to the realization of the loss.
Stage Three: Anger – Having been hurt from the loss, anger sets in. There are feelings of retaliation, the want to inflict pain on others and to strike out at the person or thing causing the pain.
Stage Four: Sickness – The physical body ‘releases’ the pain through actual physical symptoms: nausea, headaches, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, etc…
Stage Five: Panic – After experiencing physical and emotional upset there is a wonder if things are actually normal. “What is happening to me?” “Have I lost it?”
Stage Six: Guilt – A sense of guilt starts to build up. “Am I to blame?” “Could I have done something else to prevent this?” “If only I…”
Stage Seven: Depression and Loneliness – The pain of the loss may cause individuals to withdraw. They begin to realize that the change is permanent. Others may find it difficult to interact with the person who has suffered the loss and to draw them out of their state of depression.
Stage Eight: Re-Entry Troubles – Once the effort has been made to get back into the normal routine the experience of the loss makes it difficult to be trusting and open again. Suspicion may arise and it must be battled, friends and family are tested again and again.
Stage Nine: Hope Emerges – With time the pain subsides and the world seems bearable again. Hope begins to infiltrate the barriers that have been built up as protection against the pain and hurt. There is a renewed sense of well being and the process of rebuilding seems possible.
Stage Ten: Accepting and Affirming Reality – The loss is accepted without bitterness. A rebirth in life and purpose is regained.