The stages of grief can help create a road map to healing. The stages of grief was originally written about in Elisabeth Kubler-Ross book. Others have added insight and stages. There are multiple models used that include more “stages”, the Kubler-Ross began with 5 stages and eventually increased to 7. Knowing the stages can be helpful in creating a plan for healing.
5 Stages of Grief
Denial is just that. Grief occurs when we experience loss. Denial may be not believing that the loss has occurred. It can be ignoring the reality that reminds you of your loss.
Anger can occur in relation to your loss. Angry at the person who is gone. Angry that you couldn’t or didn’t do more. There are so many opportunities for anger through the grief process.
Bargaining can be a back and forth you do with yourself. It can be a bargaining with God saying if “you” spare me pain I will do something in return, ie pray more often, be a better person, etc.
Depression causing feelings of hopelessness and despair can be a result of grief. If a person struggles to process and deal with grief it can turn into depression.
Acceptance is when a person finally comes to the realization the loss is real. Readiness to process a loss can be a result of acceptance. It can take months or even years to finally come to acceptance.
The stages of grief as a road map to healing
The stages of grief are simply an outline of what many may experience while they grieve. Originally the Kubler-Ross model was based on a study of people who themselves were experiencing a terminal illness and how they dealt with it themselves. Pieces have been added to include additional stages that may apply to a wider range of loss. No matter the number of stages you reference it is true that grief is not linear.
Grief is not linear
Everyone experiences grief differently as a result you may experience these 5 stages in a different order. You may stay at a stage for years, you may never make it to certain stages. It is important to acknowledge the way we experience grief is unique to each person so it can be helpful to know what you may experience. It is very valuable to use the stages of grief to help create a road map to healing.
The stages of grief can be a great starting point to creating a plan toward your own or a loved one’s healing. Creating a plan of healing your grief can use the “stages of grief” as a starting point. If you feel like you are struggling with your grief look to the stages of grief and consider each stage and what you have experienced. You may be able to find some insight on where you are stuck.
To help in your healing reach out for support. Grief support groups are a great place to start.