Colin Murray Parkes speaks of four stages of mourning each with particular manifestations. He emphasises not to treat the movement in and out of the stages rigidly, or as if they were like watertight compartments which we pass through without ever returning to them.
- Numbness – Shock; disbelief; fear; confusion; restlessness; denial
- Pining – Appetite and sleep disturbance; anger; guilt; regrets; tears; depression; preoccupation with dead person; sense of presence; hallucinations; dreams; searching; calling out; carrying loved one’s objects; general sense of loss of control; fears of going mad.
- Disorganisation – Despair; loneliness; helplessness; depression; difficulty making decisions; reluctance to tackle new tasks; loss of identify; withdrawal from society; fear of the future; lethargy.
- Reorganisation – Desire for love and comfort but anxiety about disloyalty to dead person. Wanting to avoid pain of another loss. Needing permission to end mourning.
It is normal to experience any or all of these feelings.
If you are struggling coming to terms with a bereavement, it might be that you just need to talk to someone in the first instance. At Harmony Counselling we can help.