Stages of bereavement

Mourning someone who has passed away (also called bereavement) is one of the realities of life that can be very trying. First of all, we must take care of our own needs and those of people close to us, reorganize daily life and, as much as possible, go on with as much of our daily routine as possible.

Bereavement occurs in several stages. People experiencing grief do not necessarily go through all the stages and do not necessarily go through them in the order presented here. Several of the stages may overlap and people may also revert to a stage that they have already experienced.

Shock and denial

The stage of shock and denial can last several minutes, days or weeks. During this stage, people have difficulty believing in reality or deny it and may feel incapable of reacting.


The stage of disorganization can last several weeks or months. During this stage, people may feel profound sadness, anxiety and powerlessness. They may also turn inward and lose interest in their normal activities.

Reorganization and adaptation

The stage of reorganization and adaptation can last from several months to several years. People are less overwhelmed by the loss and gradually regain their ability to enjoy life. They recover an interest in life and see the possibility of planning new projects. They are adapting to their new situation.

Last update: February 21, 2023


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