What Are the Seven Stages of Grief?

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The seven stages of grief are shock, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression and acceptance, according to MedicineNet. The stages do not necessarily happen in the order listed; and they serve only as a guide to the grieving process.

The process of grieving is a difficult one, marked by many emotions. The stages of grief are not a specific pathway to walk, and they are demonstrated differently in each individual, notes licensed mental health counselor Serge Prengel. The first two stages, shock and denial, are evidenced by disbelief in the situation at hand. Bargaining involves attempting to make deals with natural forces or God. Guilt is often the next step, in which the person grieving feels as if he must have somehow caused the loss.

Guilt can be followed by anger, when the situation seems unfair. The depression often sets in when anger becomes too exhausting. Continuing on in the face of the loss may seem impossible, and it may seem easier to give up completely. Acceptance is considered the end goal in the journey of grief, explains Prengel. In the face of a loss, journeying through grief and all of its stages can seem nearly impossible. Consulting a grief counselor or therapist is helpful to ensure a healthy grieving process, states MedicineNet.