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Funeral cover: The stages of grief and mourning

Coping with the loss of a loved one is a tragic and deeply personal experience. Grief is an overwhelming experience that can be categorised by the five common stages that follows the passing of a loved one.

1. Denial or isolation

For many, the first reaction to learning that someone dear to you has passed away, is to deny that reality of the situation entirely.

  • This is a normal reaction to the overwhelming pain that you start to feel at the news of a death.
  • We also block out the words and try to hide from the harsh truth that someone we love has died.
  • This is a temporary response, but a necessary one to help us cope with the first rush of pain we feel.

2. Anger

This stage is when the denial and isolation that we initially felt starts to wear off. This is when the pain we tried to hide away from can’t be denied anymore.

  • We feel vulnerable and raw after the loss of a loved one, and become angry that we have to experience that pain.
  • This anger is sometimes aimed at strangers, inanimate objects, but most frequently toward friends or family.
  • This anger can often spiral into guilt over the way we treat those around us, which will only make you feel worse.

3. Bargaining

This is the point where you start negotiating or bargaining to reverse the reality. A typical reaction is to try regain control over the situation and our own emotions.

  • You’ll wonder if you were a good person toward them.
  • You’ll also start questioning whether you did enough for them during their final days.
  • You will also start second guessing the medical attention that your loved one had access to.
  • You might even secretly want to make deals with God or a higher power to reverse the inevitable.

4. Depression

There are two types of depression that are associated with mourning. The first being reactional to the reality of the loss.

  • Sadness and regret are the main focus of this type of depression.
  • There is also the worry of costs and burial, and whether our funeral plan will cover everything we need it to.
  • At this time we could also need some words of encouragement, to help you cope with the sadness that you are feeling.
  • The second type of depression is more private and personal.
  • This is where we prepare our farewells and come to terms with the loss.

5. Acceptance

The final stage of grief and mourning is not something that everyone will experience.  Sudden death or unexpected loss of a loved one can cause us to stay in a state of anger and denial.  But, those who can and do move forward learn to accept the loss.

  • After the funeral plan has paid out and the burial has been done, closure comes to some.
  • They see this process as a way to come to terms with their grief, sadness and loss.
  • Typically this phase is marked by a quiet calm where the person experiencing it is withdrawn from loved ones while they heal.

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