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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Five steps of Grief

I copied this from the internet when I looked it up.  This is to share with a special person and you know who you are.  I was taking a psyc class way back when, during the time that I was separating from my first husband.  As it says at the end of this list, it was originally developed to stage the steps of grief when one finds they have a terminal disease.  But the steps also follow along with any great loss in your life.  I remember feeling that I went thru every step here.  I have read that sometimes you don't go thru them in order or you may bounce between one or the other, but eventually you end up at the same place and that is acceptance.  And that is what we have to do when we are overwhelmed with a loss.
So to that special person, know you are not alone, not the first, even though it may feel like it. No loss should ever be minimized as we each have to deal with it in our own time and way.  So read this, it is for you and for the other one.

1.Denial — "I feel fine."; "This can't be happening, not to me."

Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of possessions and individuals that will be left behind after death.

2.Anger — "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; '"Who is to blame?"

Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy.

3.Bargaining — "I'll do anything for a few more years."; "I will give my life savings if..."

The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, "I understand I will die, but if I could just do something to buy more time..."

4.Depression — "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "I'm going to die soon so what's the point... What's the point?"; "I miss my loved one, why go on?"

During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.

5.Acceptance — "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it."

In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their mortality, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event.

Kübler-Ross originally applied these stages to people suffering from terminal illness, later to any form of catastrophic personal loss (job, income, freedom). This may also include significant life events such as the death of a loved one, major rejection, end of a relationship or divorce, drug addiction, incarceration, the onset of a disease or chronic illness, an infertility diagnosis, as well many tragedies and disasters

1 comment:

Coffeypot said...

I remember going through these steps in my psych class, too. Good to know but hard to relate them to yourself. Even though someone will go through them weather or not they know it. Good post.