Written By: Navienisha Muniandy (Intern)

Verified By: Shaundtrya Ganasan, Licensed Counselor (KB11097)

At times, the harsh hands of fate break our hearts apart, shattering them into many pieces. The pain, the suffering, penetrates deeper into the core of our hearts as if someone is crushing our hearts.

This grief, overpowering sadness, has no boundaries. It may hit us on the brightest of days or overtake us on the darkest of nights, leaving us lost in the empty deserts of our feelings.

For some, it may take a while for them to recover and return to a certain level of normalcy. For others, the road to recovery might be continuous, with the scars of grief open and exposed.

The Grief Cycle

The grief cycle, generally referred to as the Kubler-Ross model or the five stages of grief, was introduced by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in the 1969 book "On Death and Dying."

This cycle highlights several emotional stages you may experience while dealing with a great loss or tragedy. It is also important to remember that not every person undergoes all of those stages, and they might not sequentially take place. You may experience these stages in no particular order and might return to specific stages repeatedly.

5 Stages of Grief

This is the initial stage in which you may struggle to absorb the reality of your loss. You may experience shock or numbness, a sense of disbelief, and deny the reality of what happened.


As reality settles in, you may get angry. You may also get angry at the situation, people, or even with yourself. This shows the unprocessed pain that is established due to your present reality.


At this point, you may try to bargain or make plans to revert or minimize the effects of the losses. You may also form commitments to a greater power or attempt to reclaim your lost.


As a result of the loss, you may experience varying emotions, void, prolonged sadness, absence, and helplessness. You may distance yourself from others and lose your passion for hobbies and day-to-day activities you had once loved.

These may be an indicator of experiencing depression. It is better to screen with a trained therapist to understand further.


Over time, you may gradually come to terms and accept the reality of your loss. Although you may still feel the pain of loss from time to time, you may begin to accept it as a part of life; embracing life as it moves forward.

Types of Grief

Grief is an intense feeling that takes many shapes depending upon the person experiencing it the reasons for the loss and what or who they have lost in the process.

Below are some types of lesser-known grief:

Anticipatory Grief

This type of grief is when you experience grief before the loss takes place. For instance, when your loved one becomes critically ill and death is anticipated, you begin your grieving process before your loved one passes away.

Complicated Grief

This grief is referred to as long-lasting grieving with intense, lasting signs that interfere with everyday functioning. It might include feelings of deep desire, resentment, or a reluctance to deal with the loss.

Disenfranchised Grief

This particular type of grieving is neither openly acknowledged nor recognized by society. It usually happens when you suffer a loss that society does not see as severe, like the death of a pet, the end of an unfamiliar relationship, or a miscarriage.

Collective Grief

Whenever an entire population or society suffers a common loss, like an unforeseen catastrophe or a pandemic, it may result in sentiments of shared pain, fear, and solidarity.

Secondary Grief

This grief is often felt by a person who is indirectly impacted by a loss, like friends, coworkers, or caretakers. You might feel unhappy, guilty, or helpless while experiencing this type of grief.

Ambiguous Loss

This type of grieving arises when you face an unclear or unresolved loss like a family member goes missing or remains in a critical condition. It might cause emotions of confusion, worry, and an absence of closure.

Ways to Support Someone Who Is Grieving?
Be an active Listener

Let them express their emotions without judging or interrupting them. Being present and offering ears can be a comforting gesture to be offered to someone who is grieving.

Respect their Grief Process

Respect the individual's grief process; there isn’t a right or wrong way to grieve. Instead of enforcing your expectations on them, accept their feelings, even though they may not align with your way of perceiving grief.

Validate Their Emotions

Validate what they're experiencing and their emotions. There is no timeline for grieving. Avoid minimizing their pain or using words that may hurt them more.

Pay attention to their lead

Let the grieving individual lead the way to the kind of support they're looking for and the pain they are comfortable sharing. Respect their limits and stay patient whenever they prefer privacy or alone time.

Offer Practical Support

Offer help, like shopping for groceries, cooking food, or doing household chores. Those who are grieving could find it hard to accomplish their everyday duties, and your help can reduce some of their worries.

Be patient and consistent

Grieving is a complex and non-linear process, and healing needs time. Be gentle with them and give them constant support as time goes on, even though they appear to be coping well.

Provide ongoing support

Grief does not stop within the timeframe of loss itself. It continues to appear now and then; even months or years later. It is essential to show them that you're still there for them.

You can watch the video here to understand more about 'Things That You Should Not Tell To Someone Who Is Grieving'.

You can watch the video here to understand more about 'Things That You Should Not Tell To Someone Who Is Grieving

SM’s Takeaway

It is crucial to understand that different people might encounter grief differently and to differing degrees of intensity. Likewise, not everyone will go through all of the stages of grief. Being able to be present for someone who is grieving and is at their lowest point can have a huge impact on their recovery journey.

Reminder: If you or your loved one are struggling with mental health issues, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at Soul Mechanics KD or Soul Mechanics Ipoh. Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but strength!

“Supporting someone who is grieving can be challenging, yet your presence and kindness are valuable in their healing journey” 

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your present situation, we suggest reading our blog on “Self-Care: Why It Matters and How to Make it a Daily Habit.”

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