Planning a funeral service in Bellingham, WA., can be a devastating event to have to plan. The passing of your loved one will be difficult and bring on deep feelings of grief. To help you get through the process, first know that whatever you are feeling is normal and valid. Also, understand that grief is a process and like other processes, there are steps, or stages, to it.
Learning about these stages and where you are in them can validate your current feelings, help you to expect what might be next, and understand that it will get little easier eventually.
There are five universal stages of grief. They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance. Although some people experience them in this order, not everyone will. Grief is a personal thing so if you start in a different stage, know that is right for you.
First Stage: Denial
This is the most common defense mechanism and it helps you tune out or become numb to the situation. It is your mind’s way of giving you more time to absorb the information and eventually come to terms with it. An example of denial is thinking “he’s not gone, he’s going to walk through the door any minute now”.
Second Stage: Anger
After the denial fades, some will enter this stage next and stay here for a long time while others may hardly be here at all. This stage consists of putting the blame somewhere. That blame could be on the deceased themselves, other people, or even God or the universe. The anger here helps mask the real pain by projecting it as blame onto others.
Third Stage: Bargaining
In this phase, if you are religious you may begin to “bargain” with God. You might ask for the pain and grief to go away and in return you will perform a certain act or keep a specific promise.
You might also begin thinking along the lines of “if only”. Such as, “If only I had gone over to their house that night, they would still be alive”.
Stage Four: Depression
In this stage, you might start processing everything more internally. While the other stages your feelings were more external and projected onto other people, now your thoughts might turn toward yourself. You may feel quiet, sad, confused, or even foggy. You may start questioning who you are or what to do now that your loved one is gone.
While everyone stays in this stage in different lengths, it’s important to be aware if you are having trouble moving past this stage. If so, reach out to friends, family, or seek professional help to help you.
Stage Five: Acceptance
In this stage you have come to terms with the loss of your loved one. This does not mean the pain has totally gone, but you are able to feel better about where you are and the situation. You can start seeing down the road and imagine a future for yourself. In this stage, there still may be some difficult days, but overall, there will be more good ones than bad.
Grief is universal. Everyone feels it and everyone has to work through it. While there are five main stages to grief, when you arrive at each stage, and how long you stay in that stage, is different for everyone. Knowing what the stages are and understanding what they may mean for you can help you go through the process a little easier.
After your loved one’s funeral service in Bellingham, WA., feel whatever feelings you have and know they are valid no matter what sage you begin in. If you would like to know more about the stages of grief, or resources to help you navigate through them, call Moles Farewell Tributes & Crematory as they are always available to help with whatever you need.