Mourning the life we used to have: What stage of grief are you in?

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — Many of us are realizing that even with the loosening of restrictions, our lives are not going to be the same.

Denver therapist, Dr. Sheryl Ziegler, says we are actually mourning the loss of our former lives, and moving through the traditional five stages of grief. “It’s really important for people to identify what stage in the grief cycle they may be in,” Ziegler said.

The first stage of grief is denial. “That was all of us maybe 6, 7 weeks ago,” she said. “You’re confused, you’re like this can’t be.”

The second stage is anger, and that can be directed anywhere, she said.

The third phase is bargaining. That can be vowing to do something, hoping for a change that generally does not come.

The fourth stage is depression. “My fear is that’s probably where a lot of people are right now, at least in our country, where you feel little control over the situation, maybe you are starting to feel lethargic,” Ziegler said.

In this situation, she says it’s important to focus on things you can control. Eventually you will get to stage five, acceptance.

Ziegler says if you can identify which stage you are in, and what stage other members of your family are in, that can help you avoid conflict.

This all makes sense to the Hoerler family. Adrienne Hoerler is a wife and mother of four. Her oldest, Abby, is a senior at ThunderRidge High School in Highlands Ranch.

“There’s been a few nights where I hear her crying, and I cry with her,” Adrienne said. Abby’s prom was canceled, and her graduation was changed.

“At first I was super sad about everything, and then I got mad, and I was like this whole think sucks, and then I was kind of depressed,” Abby said. Ziegler, who is also the author of  “Mommy Burnout” says all of that is common, and it’s possible to fluctuate between the stages, or be triggered.

But if you can identify which stage you are in, and what stage other members of your family are in, that can help you avoid conflict.

“Now I’m kind of accepting it,” Abby said.

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