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It can be devastating and very upsetting when a family member, partner, child, friend, or loved one, passes away and dies.  People left behind when someone dies, maybe affected in many different ways, depending on the relationship you had with that person.  You go through a whirlwind of different emotions all at once.  Some days you will have a day where you feel the day was better than the previous day and other days you will feel far worse.  Strong feelings can come without warning, just like powerful waves banging against the sea wall.  You may feel like you are coping whilst standing in water up to your knees, but unexpectedly a powerful strong wave, knocks you straight off your feet again.

Overall Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Psychotherapists and Counsellors, agree that there are five stages of bereavement and grief.

The world leading expert on bereavement and grief is known to be the Psychiatrist Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Swiss born presently situated in the USA.

The five stages of bereavement are:


This helps us survive the loss.  This also helps us understand and accept that the loss is real.  You may feel shocked and numb at first, like in a day-dream.  E.g. You may expect the person to walk through the door or be next to you in bed when you awake, or place cutlery and crockery on a table without thinking.



This is a necessary stage and may include being: Angry with God, Angry at the person who has left you, Angry at yourself, Angry at whose fault it is the person has passed, Angry that you argued with that person, Angry that they have left you.  This can include a stage of acute pain, emptiness and loneliness.  You may feel guilty re feeling angry, re something you said or didn’t say, or an argument that day, or not saying ‘I love you’, or not somehow saving your loved one from dying.



Maybe with God “Please don’t take them away, I will never be Angry again”, “Take me not them”.



Feelings of emptiness and loss, plus negativity, not wanting to get out of bed, not wanting to get dressed or go out, not wanting to eat, not wanting to see or phone anyone.  Anxiously feeling lonely.  In this stage there is massive sadness, plus lots of tears and loneliness.  Further you could feel very tired, exhausted or totally worn out.  You may feel like life is not worth living anymore.



Sometime I feel like “I’m ok now”, “I can’t cope”, “and I won’t survive without them”.  Other times you may go back to any of the other four stages.  This includes adjusting to life without the person who has died, including depression, anxiety, emptiness, loneliness.  Moving energy from grieving and now into something new, positive and assisting you to move on.


Please note:  Not everyone will go through every stage, plus everyone goes through different stages, at different times and in a different order.  Overall, people hop up and down and in and out of all the five stages, without warning. 


It is good to talk about the person that has passed away, people close to you may try to avoid their name as not to upset you, but you must try to mention their name, so you feel less empty, lonely and isolated.  Birthdays, Anniversaries and other holidays may initially be very difficult to cope with.  The very best advice for these special days is to take a day off work, or do something positive and happy, to remind you of the happy, fun times you had with that person.  Even revisiting a much loved walk, café, pub or restaurant, can be temporarily uplifting and increase positive memories.


Here at Barnsley Hypnosis and Counselling we can help you move through these five stages of Bereavement and grief as positively and as least painfully as possible.  



Help us help you. Arrange a booking today!