Parent's Resource Center


The Stages of Grieving

Denial: shock and disbelief.

Bodily Distress: anxiety can cause physical or emotional symptoms such as loss of appetite, obsessive eating, exhaustion, sleeplessness, nightmares.                

Anger: outward expressions of hostility, rage, explosive behavior or inward expressions of depression, self-blame or self destructive ideation.                

Hostile Reactions to the Deceased: feelings of being deserted, abandoned or rejected.                

Hostile Reactions to Others: blaming others such as  mother/father, God, doctor.                

Guilt/Self-Blame: "If only I hadn't done____",  guilt over comments such as "I wish you were dead" or         "I hate you".                

Bargaining: buying time to accept the reality of the situation.              

Replacement: a child quickly seeks affection from others as a substitute.

Assumptions of Mannerisms: the child takes on characteristics of the loved one.

Tries to carry out the plans or wishes of the one that died.

Idealization: the child is obsessed with positive qualities.

Depression: feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, withdrawal, loss of pleasure.                

Anxiety: preoccupation with physical symptoms. School avoidance is common.

Panic: state of confusion and shock. A period of fearfulness exists regarding others.                

Acceptance: Child learns to reorganize his/her life without the dead loved one.