Five stages of Loss and Pain

Written by on 12th August 2019

It happens to everyone to feel bad and to pass a difficult period, for example for the loss of work, of friendship, after a loss or after the end of a love story. When you are out in a bad mood or feeling depressed, you experience a difficult state to bear and strive to react in all ways. Here are five stages of pain.


  1. Negation phase

Usually, it is the very first phase of mourning. “I can’t believe it”, “It’s not possible” are the sentences we say most often. The world seems meaningless to us and we feel overwhelmed. Life seems to have no meaning; we are in a state of shock and refusal as if anesthetized by pain. We wonder how we can move forward. Trying not to think and feel about the traumatic experience and emotions and anesthetize ourselves with all possible means.

Denial is a defense mechanism that helps us deal with the acute phase of loss when the wound is very recent. When we ask ourselves existential questions, we are gradually accepting the situation and subconsciously we are starting the healing process. As we grow stronger, all the feelings that we previously denied rise to the surface and acquire a new awareness.


  1. Phase of anger

Anger is an essential element of the healing process, even when it seems endless. The more you allow this emotion to express itself, the faster the wounds will heal.

Anger can explode in all directions: it can extend not only to your friends, to your family, to doctors, to yourself and to the person you lost, but also to Life, the Universe, God. We wonder why life has given us this punishment, because God has denied us o and why he did this to us. Behind the anger, lies the pain. We feel abandoned and betrayed. Anger gives us strength; it is an anchor to which we cling when we experience the emptiness of loss. Embrace it, don’t send it away.


  1. The phase of the negotiation

When a person we love is about to leave, we are willing to do anything to not lose them. We beg God, Life, someone bigger than us, not to deprive us of that treasure, we almost start negotiating (If you let it live, I promise I’ll be good, etc.). When we are in the real phase of mourning, negotiating becomes almost an agreement. We want life to be back to what it was before. We are in the grip of guilt. We think we could have done more and done differently. We find ourselves living in the past; we are willing to do anything to avoid that pain.


  1. Phase of depression

When we are in a depressive phase, we focus only on the sadness of the present. We experience existential emptiness; we perceive pain on a deeper level. We seem to be in a dark tunnel with no way out. It is important to keep in mind that this condition is not a sign of mental illness, but the response of our body and our soul to pain. We withdraw from life, we are less inclined to go out, make acquaintances. Let’s not worry about this emotion. Let it be free to express itself and take its course, without forcing it.


  1. Acceptance Phase

Accepting a situation does not mean suffering passively, but being fully aware of what it is. Acceptance is energy different from resignation. To accept means to stop arguing with the reality of the facts and move on. It is the only way to survive from a loss permanently; in fact, it helps us to move forward in our lives. When we are resigned from the feelings we try to tolerate. But it is not true acceptance. Below, we’re just trying to endure. And putting up with something is like putting a lid on a boiling pot of water. Sooner or later the emotions we try to deny come out.

In this phase, it is necessary to start from what is there, to reorganize one’s life in this new condition, to understand one’s role. When we return to appreciate the joy of life, We can never replace the lost one, but we can make new acquaintances. We begin to involve new people in our lives and become part of that of others. Life is not only suffering but brings with it so many wonderful gifts.


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