Skip to content

6 Signs of Grief [Infographic]

Adobe Stock 108617681
Brad Wolfe
Brad Wolfe

March 26, 2024

What are the signs of grief? How can you know if you have gotten over your trauma or are still grieving? Let’s learn how to recognize the six signs of grief, acknowledge your needs, identify what stage of grief you are currently in, and move towards personal growth.

6 Signs of Grief
Get a copy of the infographic here

The purpose of identifying these six signs of grief is to identify where you are in the grieving process. Remember: To move through all five stages of grief and growth, you may need to repeat some stages. They are called “stages” of grief, but we’ve learned it's not linear. Take time to give your grief meaning and move past each step in your trauma. It’s okay to spend a long time on certain stages if you need to.

Being honest with yourself is an important part of the growth process. Honesty, quite literally, is the crucial first step to moving past denial. Honest self-awareness will help you begin your post-traumatic growth journey.

What is post-traumatic growth? PTG is a psychological theory that explains how people often experience personal growth after trauma. A trauma can include natural disasters, death, illness, job loss, and more. Trauma reactions are different for everyone, but growth is possible.

Post-traumatic growth examples are positive changes in relationships or your outlook on life. In our example of being diagnosed with a terminal illness, some examples of post-traumatic growth might sound like this:

  1. Personal strength. “I have a strong legacy of generosity that will always be remembered.”
  2. New possibilities. “I may need to quit my job, but I can enjoy my time with fulfilling activities. I embrace the changes that life presents to me.”
  3. Improved relationships. “I will reach out and apologize to an old friend. I no longer need to hold onto this grudge.”
  4. Appreciation for life. “I have had many adventures and seen wonderful things in my lifetime. I have appreciated the adults my children have grown into.”
  5. Spiritual growth. “I will investigate what my religion or personal values have to say about end-of-life planning. I will foster acceptance in my heart and face reality with tranquility and love.”

It is not easy to arrive at these conclusions, but it is rewarding. Finding a community to support your grief process is a good first step. Many people find grief counseling extremely helpful as a way to begin this journey.

Personal growth is possible

Identifying the signs of grief does not mean you are failing. Moving through each stage is not a race against time. It is a journey that must be taken step-by-step. How is grief transformed into growth? Through honesty, awareness, and gentle progress. Reimagine is an online safe community for people who are grieving.