The Five Stages Of Grief Expressed Through Poetry

We’ve all heard about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We’ve probably all experienced them at one point or another, whether we were aware of it or not. Personally, I only really began to notice my grieving period after re-reading some of my old poems and prose that I had written during the five months following my breakup. Writing helped me cope with my emotions by providing me with a space to relieve myself of these intense feelings. Here’s a closer look into my brain when I was going through the five stages of grief:

DENIAL

I refused to accept the reality of the situation when it happened. I kept thinking to myself, “Maybe if I do this, he’ll realize he still loves me and come back to me.” I waited and waited with hopeful anticipation at every text, Snap or Instagram DM, yearning to hear his voice say, “I still love you.” But those words were never going to leave his lips because they weren’t true. I was trying to sugar-coat the situation to lessen the pain, but it didn’t help. I just didn’t want to accept the truth, and this poem was born as a result.

ANGER

I started to develop some feelings of anger after my breakup. They weren’t all necessarily directed at my ex, but more so at myself and at the world. I was furious that I had let myself get treated so poorly, and I didn’t have anyone to blame but myself. I wrote this next poem out of frustration and fury. I felt like I had to always put this "pretty face" on for everyone to show that I was doing fine, when in reality, I was not okay. I was hurt and wanted others to feel the pain I was going through.

BARGAINING

Although I did want to move on, I also couldn’t help but wonder what my life would have been like if he was still in it. I daydreamed endlessly about still being with him, and my fantasies haunted me in my sleep too. I wanted him back and was willing to do anything. I kept imagining scenarios in my head about how things could have played out differently. “If only I did this…” swam around in my mind, drowning me in endless theoretical possibilities that would never come true. I was living in a dream state where things played out the way I wanted them to and not how reality actually dictated.

DEPRESSION

This relationship was my first real relationship, so when it ended, I sank like the Titanic. I was sad for so long following my breakup, and I didn’t want to do anything but be with him. It felt like he had stolen a piece of my soul when he left, and I felt incomplete and empty as a result.

ACCEPTANCE

It took me a while to get to this final stage, but I think I have finally achieved acceptance. I no longer wake up with him as the first thought in my head. I still think of him, but not as much as I used to. I am more indifferent towards him now and have come to terms that I don’t need a partner to make me feel whole or complete. I am 100% myself all by myself. I don’t need anyone else to remind me of who I am. And although I cannot predict or see the future, I know that I will be okay because I am at peace with who I am.