Most studies of grief focus on dealing with loss due to death and leave out grief experienced due to the loss of significant relationships. However, divorce, breakups, and cutting off major relationships can also lead one to experience the stages of grief

The Stages of Grief

The stages of grief are not simple steps. One person may experience only one stage for an extended period, while another person may go through all five stages, and others may alternate through them. There are five stages of grief which include:

  • Denial, or refusing the truth of the situation.
  • Anger, or feeling strongly annoyed or hostile.
  • Bargaining, which involves feelings of guilt and trying to get control back.
  • Depression, or an altered mood that causes sadness and despair.
  • Acceptance, or a feeling of calm and understanding.

Any loss of a significant relationship can mimic a death as the relationship itself has expired. Loss is loss. Losing someone we love, even if it is something that we have to do to protect ourselves and our hearts, can leave us with an emptiness that leads to experiencing the stages of grief. 

When a significant relationship ends, the person who was left, or the person who decided to leave may feel grief as strong as someone who lost a loved one to death. Also, when the person is still alive although they are not present in our lives, this creates a problematic situation that may trouble us incessantly.  


Addiction Recovery and Dealing With Loss

When recovering from a substance use disorder (SUD), we may have to cut off relationships that might compromise our sobriety. This act may be difficult but necessary for maintaining recovery and avoiding relapse. It is essential to understand that it is reasonable to experience feelings of loss when you end these toxic relationships. Accepting loss is a process, and everyone experiences this journey differently. 


Looking for Help Dealing With Addiction and Loss?

There is no specific order or path to the stages of grief. Furthermore, grief does not involve dealing with only death. The end of a significant relationship can lead to the development of grief and coping with its stages. There is no specific order to the stages of grief, but there is hope for a healthier and stronger future.


At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.