The 5 Grieving Stages of Cutting Toxic People Away from Your life.

Even though these people aren’t actually dead, losing them from our lives can earnestly feel the same.

Eva Grape
4 min readApr 10, 2022


Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

It’s his birthday today, so I need to fight my impulse to send him an email to wish him a “Happy Birthday”. It’s not the first time in my life he made me go through this due to his toxic behaviour, but it’s the last time I’m allowing it to affect me. We’re family. Scratch that — we used to be family. Now he’s a person I no longer want to have in my life because he more or less willingly did my mother and me a lot of harm during my childhood and early adulthood.

It’s time to stop it. But unfortunately, as painful as it may be, people living in toxic relationships sometimes find themselves in the position I am in today to decide to remove themselves from such people, going through the grieving process as if they’d lost someone.

Let’s don’t minimize the ache we feel when we consciously choose to cut off people we used to love from our lives. Because when we truly mean it, it’s a one-way street. There’s no turning back from that point on. So in many ways, it feels like that person is dead to us.

But grieving for a person who is not dead it’s difficult. You often find yourself longing for that person, restraining yourself from contacting them because it would be so easy technically. Still, you’d only shoot yourself in the leg doing so and self-sabotaging your mission to free yourself. Hence, it’s harder to get closure because this person is not dead.

It boils down to choices.

Every day, at least for a while, we need to choose to stick to the plan consciously. Our brains need to rewire so that the thoughts surrounding these people are easily dismissed. Overthinking should be avoided at all price because it can take us through a rabbit hole and fill us with hard feelings and second thoughts.

It’s not easy, so allow yourself to undergo the grieving process, which, please remember, is not linear and manifests differently from person to person.

  1. Denial — it’s the first stage of grief. We don’t realize much because we’re in shock and denial. We don’t want to believe that this…



Eva Grape

Side-hustler mom. You can also find me here: and support me here: