Every human has experienced loss at some point in life, yet some losses impact us more than others. Not only do some losses represent that life is out of control and that bad things can happen to us, but grief is also cumulative.

The 5 stages of grief:
komalriazDenial. “This can’t be happening to me.” When the news first comes that a loved one has died, those left behind often feel a sense of shock or difficulty taking in the news. This is especially true if one was not present at the time of death. An unexpected death, such as by an accident, can be especially difficult to comprehend. Some grievers admit to entertaining the thought in their minds that their deceased spouse or loved one is “on a business trip” in order to get through the responsibilities of the day.


Samreen-Masud-120x150Ms. Samreen Masud is currently serving as a Clinical Psychologist at Willing Ways Lahore. She has done her M.Phil in Clinical Psychology from Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore and her BSc. Hons.in Applied Psychology from Kinnaird College as well. She has had the experience of working as an intern at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center. There she became expert in counseling and relaxation techniques working with cancerpatients both adults and children.

Editor: Saad Shaheed


Anger is not a universal experience for those going through a loss. In Kübler-Ross’ final work there is evidence to suggest that she carried a great deal of anger throughout her life that she did not deal with until her later years. Many people are sad about the loss of their loved one and never angry about it.

Bargaining may be a common characteristic of those who discover they have a terminal disease. They bargain with promises to God in exchange for, hopefully, more time on earth. However, this does not apply to those grieving a loss of a loved one. Those left behind know that there is nothing they can offer that will bring back their loved one from the grave.

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Depression is an interesting label
Many of the symptoms common to depression occur for those who are grieving a loss. There may be difficulty concentrating, a lack of energy or motivation, change in eating or sleeping habits and sadness. However, when the symptoms are due to the normal human reaction to loss, they should not be labeled as depression. The exception would be someone who is clinically depressed before the loss occurs, will likely to be clinically depressed and need profession treatment after the loss. Grief is the normal reaction to the loss of a relationship or significant attachment.