Stages of Bereavement

Marlow cat

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Stages of Bereavement
Here are the stages one generally goes through. Please keep in mind it not a linear process. One day/hour/month you feel okay/better and then wham. The stages can be mixed together and some may not happen.

  • Grief and Shock
  • Denial and/or Disbelief
  • Anger/Guilt/Depression
  • Healing and Acceptance (somehow finding a way through

I think the main thing to keep in mind is that bereavement is a natural process that we can heal from. The deeper our loved our and connection to our pet the more intense the stages/feelings. It seems helpful to know that there is healing at the end of the painful stages.
 

di and bob

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Yes, thank you for reminding us that eventually there is healing. Our bodies and our minds cannot sustain the overwhelming emotions we go through forever, somehow we work through the process and heal ourselves. I know I have been through all this so many times, going back, allowing some glimmer of hope to creep in that I am finally on my way to healing, and then WHAM, I am back at the beginning once again. Time has a way of softening your grief, and I know the only acceptance I have for sure is that I will never be the same and although the pain will always be there, it has dimmed to an acceptable ache. you never get over grief, you learn ways to manage it. Since my own soulmate died at Christmas time, for all those about to embark on this horrible journey, and for those who have already endured it, I pray that God, in His infinite mercy, will comfort us all........
 
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Marlow cat

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Thanks folks. Di and Bob.....very, very eloquently stated.

I thought a lot about the "last" stage and what to call it. Most of the literature calls it something like resolution or closure but this give kind of a sense of the grief coming to a complete end. I don't think this happens. That's why I described it more as "Healing and Acceptance." Or better yet, somehow finding a to survive, finding a way through after the grief and pain has subsided to "hopefully" and okay level. I think you are quite right Di and Bob that "Our bodies and our minds cannot sustain the overwhelming emotions."
 
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di and bob

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I truly think the body has a copingf mechanism that begins to shut down our heightened emotions to protect us. Just think if we sustained that kind of grief that comes at the very beginning, there is no way we could live with that......It is all such a personal, private, kind of hell, I don't think there is really any help from others except to be comforted by their words. Each and every one of us has a unique grief and ways of coping, because it is OUR love that we share with those precious little ones, and others can empathise, but will never know the true depth of our love and the grief that comes from losing them, because of this entirely personal experience.
 

Antonio65

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I'm still locked into the third stage
Anger/Guilt/Depression
especially Guilt and Depression. Yesterday I burst out in tears when nobody was seeing me, and it was like I had lost my kitties a few hours before.

My question is: what happens when you are approaching the end of this process and another loss occurs? Do the two processes overlap, or do we start all over again?
 
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Marlow cat

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oh no....i hope you haven't had another loss in your life. the grieving process, unfortunately, is not a linear process. do you have support around you? people who listen and understand pet bereavement?

to respond more directly to your question....generally, you go back to the beginning and it's probably more difficult since you are already grieving.
 
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Antonio65

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oh no....i hope you haven't had another loss in your life. the grieving process, unfortunately, is not a linear process. do you have support around you? people who listen and understand pet bereavement?

to respond more directly to your question....generally, you go back to the beginning and it's probably more difficult since you are already grieving.
Thanks for your kind concern, fortunately no more loss after Lola (March 2017) and Pallina (August 2018).
I haven't recovered it yet from Lola, let alone for Pallina...
I do not have a specific support around me, if not a very few people who can understand the grief, but I can't torment them every time I feel bad.
 

Willow's Mom

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It's not linear. Reading this was informative right after I lost my son:


The author has a blog and a book.

Antonio65, you can always PM me if you don't have supportive community. I think you probably have people here on TCS who know you better than I do, but sometimes an acquaintance is better than a friend.
 
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