The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with loss. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. The stages have evolved since their introduction and they have been misunderstood over the past three decades. They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss as there is no typical loss. Our grief is as individual as our lives.