Understanding five stages of grief and loss due to breakup

Grief is a natural response of body towards a loss. The loss may be as little as losing a favorite thing or large as the death of loved one. This article is about five stages of grief focussed on breakup.

We all have experienced the feeling of grief at one or the other point in our life. Grief is actually a common response of the body to a loss. A Swiss psychiatrist, Kubler-Ross in her book ‘On Death and Dying‘ first introduced the five stages of grief. Her model of grief was based on her work with seriously ill patients. The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. These stages tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. These stages do not set a timeline Every person going through grief has a different approach towards grief. It is said, “Every grief is unique”. But in this article let us go through the basic five stages of grief due to break up:

“The five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief.” –  Kubler-Ross 

Break-up and Grief

We often have listened that break-ups are painful. But actually, they are not only painful but also torture. The grief of break-up is no different than losing a loved one. According to a study done by Stanford psychologists in 2016 ” It’s hard not to feel the sting after a relationship ends, and it’s even harder not to take it personally. But understanding that it is possible to make it through and even see changes in yourself on the other side can make the grief gauntlet more manageable. Taking the time to heal can help, but if you find yourself stuck in anxiety, anger or depression following a breakup, it’s important to seek professional help. Sometimes, the perspective of an outside professional is just what we need to point us in a new, healthier direction.”

Five Stages of Grief due to break-up


This is the first step of your body to give time to your mind and heart to prepare for the loss. his stage is also known as the stage of shock. You are at a stage where your mind and heart is not ready to accept the change or the news and as a result, you feel numb. For example, if you got to know you are suffering from a deadly disease your mind will not accept it. You will have thoughts like maybe the doctor has diagnosed it wrong or maybe blood samples in the lab have gotten exchanged. If you just broke -up with your partner, you will think it was just a dream or your partner is just kidding. You will work out to find why this happened to you. You will start questioning yourself about everything that happened. But actually, this is nature’s way to make you accept the truth.

Denial aids in pacing your feelings of grief. Instead of becoming completely overwhelmed with grief, we deny it, do not accept it, and stagger its full impact on us at one time.With every question, you ask yourself you are actually accepting the grief and helping your mind to move forward.

Also read: https://www.askmile.com/blog/nurse-broken-heart-10-things-not-breakup/


Once the stage of denial is over and you have started living in the reality the feeling of anger might start to set in because this is not the reality you wanted in your life. The reality you are living in is forced on you. The outburst of this fact will be “Anger”. You will have a feeling like “why me” or “life has done injustice to me”. You may start questioning your faith in superpowers. But the fact is … you should accept this anger. No matter how hard it is. Because behind your anger is your pain. Letting out this anger will help you in subsiding your pain.”

Researchers and mental health professionals agree that this anger is a necessary stage of grief. It’s important to truly feel the anger. It’s thought that even though you might seem like you are in an endless cycle of anger, it will dissipate – and the more you truly feel the anger, the more quickly it will dissipate, and the more quickly you will heal. It is not healthy to suppress your feelings of anger – it is a natural response – and perhaps, arguably, a necessary one. The direction of anger toward someone or some object is what might connect you back to reality and bridge you to people again. It is a “thing.” It’s something to grasp onto – a natural step in healing.


In this stage, your life will get trapped in a maze of “What if…Only if “ statements. Like if you have gone through a break-up will want to do every possible thing to reunite with your partner.  Your mind and body are too exhausted to handle this grief now. You will try talking to “GOD” and make best possible compromises you can to make to get back in life you once were. You will feel guilty for yourself. According to experts bargaining is often accompanied by guilt. The guilt causes us to find flaws in ourselves and what we “think” we could have done differently. We even try to bargain with pain in this situation. We will try to turn all stones to not feel the pain we are going through.

Also Read – https://www.askmile.com/blog/getting-over-a-breakup-101/


Depression is the feeling of emptiness and it is actually acceptance of the grief that the person/situation or life you want will never be back. The feeling of being alone and stay away from the world will be there. You will feel as if your life has shut down and nothing good can ever happen to you know. These feelings may even force you to turn yourself into things which are not good for you. Depression is a sign of response to a great loss. It is actually important in the process of healing. It will help you in moving to the next stage of grief. Though you will feel darkness actually it is opening the door for new sunshine a new beginning.

5.Moving On/Acceptance

The broken heart starts to heal and scab over. “Everything is going to be OK,”. So you stand up tall and forge on, back to your wonderful life.In this stage, the haze on your eyes will disappear slightly and you will have a much clearer vision. You will try and accept the situation. It is not that you will forget everything but yes you know that the change is permanent. You will feel better and you will realize your worth. You will have clear reasons why this situation happened and what you need to do with your life.  The grief is now over. All the anger and trauma is over. That doesn’t mean you will forget everything but rather you know now it’s over and life is to move on. You will find the sun shining bright and spring back in your life.


It is not necessary that every individual response in the same manner to grief. Some may go through all the above said five stages of grief and some may just experience two of them and some may move to and fro from one stage back to the former one and then back again. It all depends on the capacity and grief of individual that how he/she deals with the pain.

Points to remember when you or your loved ones are in break-up grief

• Every grief is unique. There is nothing like an endpoint. It will live its lifespan.

• Grief and pain will not end it will fade away with time. You grieve because you love. Love will change but not vanish.

• Grief will change, sometime you will heavy sometimes light it depends on oneself how the grief is taken.

• Sometimes you will feel angry. Sometimes you will be in peace. Flashbacks will haunt you. Sometimes you will find new sunshine. A mixture of feeling will engrave you. Let them come out. This is the only way of getting back to normal.

• Grief will make you tired sometimes. Sometimes you will want to turn away. Sometimes you will turn back. Grief will make you dance to its rhythm.

• Grief is making you feel crazy. Be patient, because you are not crazy.

• No way to deal with grief is wrong. Maybe your way to deal with is painful but it can never be wrong.

If you are experiencing any loss and are struggling to manage the grieving period, speak with our expert counsellors anonymously at Askmile.com today!

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