Welcome to a Journey of

Healing & Understanding

Grief, an inevitable part of love and life, is as personal as it is universal. Here, in this space, we embrace the complexity of grief, offering guidance, understanding, and a hand to hold. I'm Sasha, and like many of you, I've walked the painful path of loss. Through personal experiences and shared stories, this page aims to be your companion in navigating the unpredictable waves of grief.

Whether you're facing the loss of a loved one, grappling with life-altering changes, or seeking to understand your grief journey, you're not alone. Together, we'll explore the stages of grief, find solace in shared experiences, and discover ways to heal and grow. This is a place for comfort, for learning, and most importantly, for hope.


Understanding the Stages of Grief

In the deeply personal journey of grief, understanding the stages we may encounter offers a beacon of insight in a sea of emotions. While grief is as individual as a fingerprint, many find comfort in recognising common patterns in their emotional landscape. These stages, often described as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, aren't linear steps but rather a spectrum of responses that ebb and flow over time.

In this section, we delve into each stage, not as checkpoints to be crossed, but as signposts on a path that is uniquely yours. They are a framework helping us to understand and articulate our experiences, providing a language for the often indescribable nature of our loss. Remember, there's no right or wrong way to journey through grief. Each step, each moment of pause, each backward glance is part of the intricate process of healing and finding meaning after loss.

When someone we love dies, we are often in a state of shock and disbelief. It feels as if our entire world has crumbled, leaving us numb and disoriented. 

Denial in grief serves as a temporary defence mechanism, a buffer against the shock of loss. In this stage, the reality of the loss feels distant and surreal, as if it's happening to someone else or is just a bad dream. Denial helps to pace our feelings of grief, allowing us to absorb the news of our loss at our own pace. It's a period where we might find ourselves questioning the reality of what has happened, holding onto hope that there's been some mistake. 

Anger can emerge as the masking effects of denial start to fade. This stage is often characterised by feelings of frustration, irritation, and outrage. It's a natural response to feeling powerless and unfairly deprived. Anger can be directed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends, family, and even the deceased. Beneath the anger is often a deep well of pain, reflecting the enormity of the loss we are beginning to confront.


In the bargaining stage, we dwell on what could have been done to prevent the loss. People often find themselves caught in a loop of "What if..." and "If only..." thoughts. This stage involves pondering the various ways different actions might have spared us from our pain. Bargaining can also manifest in a form of negotiation with a higher power, an attempt to make a deal to undo or lessen the loss.


Depression in the context of grief is not a sign of mental illness but rather an appropriate response to great loss. This stage is marked by feelings of emptiness, despair, and deep sadness. We may withdraw from life, feel numb, live in a fog, and not want to get out of bed. The world might feel too much and too empty simultaneously. It's the time when the loss feels most present and unavoidable.


Acceptance doesn't mean we are okay with the loss. Instead, it's about acknowledging the reality of our situation. In this stage, we begin to live with the loss, adjusting to a life without our loved one. Acceptance can mean having more good days than bad ones. We start to find a way forward, and though the pain of loss might still be present, it becomes a part of us without defining us.



Final Thoughts on the Stages of Grief

As we explore and reflect on the multifaceted stages of grief – from the initial shock in denial to the eventual integration of our loss into our New Normal – it's important to remember that grief is not a linear journey. 
Each individual's experience is unique, and it's not uncommon to oscillate between stages or encounter multiple stages simultaneously. 

Grieving is a deeply personal experience marked by moments of sadness, anger, bargaining, and gradual healing. 'Healing' is different for everyone. While we never really get over our loss- how can we– we can learn to live with our loss in a way that allows the possibility of hope once again. 

In this journey, being gentle with oneself is paramount. Self-compassion and patience are crucial as you navigate the emotional landscape of grief, acknowledging that healing is not a destination but a journey of gradual understanding and adaptation. 

Explore the resources on my 'Comfort' page if you are grieving, for further support and guidance. Additionally, my book After Life, After You offers insights and personal reflections on coping with the loss of a spouse. Find more information here.


Further Resources

Never feel like you have to suffer alone. There are support services that you can turn to if you feel that you need extra support.

Find a list of Grief and Bereavement Resources for the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and New Zealand here.

For the unique and difficult experience of perinatal loss and grief, the Perinatal Loss and Involuntary Childlessness Alliance (PLICA) offers tools and resources. Find them here.

For more information on spousal bereavement, visit my author page here.