Stages of Grief
According to the commonly accepted Kubler-Ross model, there are five different stages of grief. It describes, in five discrete stages, a process by which people deal with grief and tragedy, when faced with death or a catastrophic loss.
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 situation.
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. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.
3) Bargaining– “Just let me live to see my children graduate.”; “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 the inevitable. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle.
4) Depression– “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “What’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?” During the fourth stage, the person begins to understand the inevitabilities of the situation. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the person to disconnect oneself 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, the individual begins to come to terms with their grief.