Death and change are a part of life that can not be escaped, everyone at some point in his or her life will have to work through the grief of losing a loved one. Grief is the process that we go through to let go of old habits and starts a new way of life. We all need to examine the way we deal with these changes in our lives. When we understand our reactions to changes that happen in our lives we will be able to accept these changes and the grieving process will be easier. Grief can be described as a healthy reaction to any loss. Grief can be very good for us, but if not dealt with properly, it can cause us long-term physical and mental damage. There are many phases and/or stages one goes through to cope with any loss. According to Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross the stages in the grieving process are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. People grieve differently and can have very different needs. Some people may stay in a stage of grief longer than others, and some people may quickly move through the process. Every loss is different and can be experienced differently even by the same person. You may react one way to the loss of your mother and a totally different way to the loss of your sister. Any time we make changes in our life we can go through a grieving process. This process takes places for both good and bad changes in everyday life.
Most people will feel numb and confused during the denial stage, which is the first stage in the grieving process. Usually during this stage people find it very difficult to make even easy decisions. Some people find it difficult to care for their own basic everyday needs such as: sleep, food, bathing, or even paying the bills. The denial stage of grieving is used to protect and to help prepare for the months of agony that is ahead. It helps us to come to terms with the reality of our new life without our loved one. Feelings of helplessness are very common during this first stage.