Recognising the cycles of grief - TXG

Article By TXG   |   17th September 2020

There is much talk at the moment about the ‘new normal’ as we try and find a way through the effects of Covid-19 and a certain wistfulness for what we had only a few months ago. In a way, we are all grieving for what we have lost as we try and find out equilibrium again. Understanding the cycles of grief can be helpful to understand what you or perhaps people around you are feeling and knowing that you are working your way through to that ‘new normal’.

There are several descriptors of these cycles but these are the ones that I am drawn to:

Denial – finding it hard to accept that an event has happened

Yearning – wishing that an event hadn’t happened and wishing things could go back to how they were

Bargaining – wanting to negotiate to change the outcome of what is going on – ‘if only….’

Anger – looking for someone or something to blame and to direct your anger and frustration towards, searching for an explanation of what is going on and finding that explanation lacking

Disorganisation – the starting of acceptance of the situation and dealing with it but perhaps settling into depression or grieving for what has gone

Reorganisation – starting to accept what has happened and finding a way to live with it so you can make plans for moving on. You find a new equilibrium and can build from here.

This is not a linear process – you may move back and forth between some of these cycles before you get to reorganisation more of the time. Understanding what you are going through and knowing it’s a process that you need to move through can sometimes help the healing and acceptance that what once was has gone and there is a new way forward.