The fifth stage is Depression – after guilt, empty feelings present themselves and grief enters our lives on a deeper level. This depressive state feels as though it will last forever. We want to withdraw from life and wonder if there’s any point in going on at all.

You may find just getting out of bed is a challenge. You have no desire to eat or do anything. The heavy and dark feelings that come with depression is a natural step even though our society sees it as something to be treated. In grief, depression is a way for nature to keep us protected by shutting down the nervous system so that we can adapt to something we feel we cannot handle. You might want to resist being depressed, but depression is a necessary stage in the grieving process.

When you allow yourself to experience depression, it will leave as soon as it has served its purpose in your loss. As you grow stronger, it may return from time to time but that is how grief works. It will pass.