We have all heard of the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. This theory of bereavement was developed by Kubler Ross in the late seventies.  However, since then, both research and therapeutic practice indicate that the grief process is messier than that. In the same day we might experience a myriad of emotions including anger, sadness, relief, guilt, remorse, fear. We have discovered that grief does not happen in a linear way, moving from one stage to the next, but rather in a figure of eight going to and fro from good days to bad days. There are days which are full of good moments and others when grief hits you like a tornado because of a song you used to share or a smell that reminds you your loved one has gone…

Death is not always surprising.  At times we are expecting someone to die, because of disease or severe injury, but it is always shocking. We a loved one passes on, the days after the funeral are followed by an acute period of grief. At times during this time grief takes over completely. We feel a sense of sadness and heaviness that colours all that we do and say. However, instinctively, a slow process of healing takes place. Slowly we start including in our lives things that matter. Friends, family, work, hobbies start becoming important again.

In the second part of this blog we will continue exploring the concept of grief and ways we can be of help to those passing through this process.


Anna Catania is a counsellor with Willingness. She has had a special interest in working with clients facing intimacy and sexual difficulties and runs a service for families going through cancer and chronic illness. She can be contacted on anna@willingness.com.mt

You can visit her profile on: https://zme.tec.mybluehost.me/willingnessmt/team/anna-catania/