I’m sharing snippets from here in hopes that what I have learned from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD, will help you along the way. Please note that her intention was to apply her 5 stages of grief to the survivors of a loved one’s death or to people who are facing their own impending death.
For me, I think the stages can be applied to any sense of loss be it financial, health, relationship, etc. Please note that italicized words are directly from her website listed above.
A little background:
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D. ~ A pioneer in Near-death studies and the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying(1969), where she first discussed what is now known as the Kübler-Ross model. In this work she proposed the now famous Five Stages of Grief as a pattern of adjustment. These five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In general, individuals experience most of these stages, though in no defined sequence, after being faced with the reality of their impending death. The five stages have since been adopted by many as applying to the survivors of a loved one’s death, as well.
Here, I found a simple way to look at…
The Five Stages of Grief
Have you ever heard of them? When you think about your life right now, do any of these feel familiar? At times, I think we can stagnate in the stages of grief, burying ourselves in them like an old comfy blanket. It’s not even that we flow through the stages in a predictable way. Sometimes, we dance through them like an untrained cha-cha, forward and backwards with no sense of timing. It helps when a friend can reach out to share the journey with you and recognize if you cannot, the stages you’ve endured and where you are right now.
Many times in my life, I have flowed through the stages, in varying degrees for various experiences which I’ve endured. The bottom line is that through grief, we are searching for a new normal because the ‘normal’ that we knew, no longer applies to the present reality in our lives. It’s in this way that the stages are good for us all.
It’s not an easy path to a ‘new normal’ when we must accept change. But it is something we are all capable of learning, growing and flowing through with help. I encourage you to reach out, to read and to ask for help. We are here, those of us who have endured all different aspects of life’s journey. You are not alone.
P.S. Have you ever heard of the 5 stages of grief before? Have you any experience with them? Please share below! xo
I am familiar with these stages of grief due to having read the book years ago; now that I am within a situation of ongoing grief with Anthony, the pattern/the stages aren’t as coherent as they are supposed to be but somehow I am finding joy in every day so I must be doing something right haha!
Jules, I think that we flow through the stages, not necessarily in the same order all the time nor do we have a set time allotment for each one. I am so proud of you that you are finding joy in everyday ~ you are definitely doing something right! ♥
Some stages come, go, and come back. I wasn’t prepared for that. So, I guess what I’m saying is that you can actually be in more than one stage at the same time…at least I find that’s true for me.
I agree Rhonda. I think it’s all a process that can overwhelm us at times. Grief is sneaky as it crops up when we least expect it. Processing our feelings as they come with the help of a friend is key. I’m here for you. I understand. ♥
I know you are ♥ and I know you do ♥ and that goes both ways ♥
Blessed to feel the same way. ♥♥♥
I find the stages cyclical, particularly when it comes to my kids and their struggles.
I agree that it’s cyclical when the reality of grieving is ongoing due to life’s struggles. We think we have it all under control, only to find that there’s a new crisis and we find we are grieving again. Your blog always finds the silver lining in life, even when you are grieving. So happy to be in your world of friendship. ♥
I’ve been having a hard time connecting with Kuber-Ross. I just started “Saying Goodbye: A Guide to Coping with a Loved One’s Terminal Illness” by Okun and Nowinski. Their five stages of grief are resonating with me: Crisis, Unity, Upheaval, Resolution, and Renewal.
Thanks for sharing ML! I haven’t read that book. I am happy you found a way to understand grief that works for you. I think that as long as we are trying, we succeed in whatever way resonates with us. Thinking of you. ♥
Yvonne, when I look at grief I think about the way I have lost loved ones. With my father I got to tell him I loved him and how great a father he was before he left. With my brother it was suicide and so the grieving may have looked more like these stages. I know its never easy but getting to say goodbye might have helped my grief with my dad. The best thing I have learned is not to bottle the feelings up inside. Don’t be afraid to talk about that person and try and remember all the good times spent together. For someone going through a life threatening illness I can’t imagine what it must be like. I only know when my dad knew he did not have long, it broke my heart to see his sorrow and pain everyday, although he tried to hide it from us, we all knew how gutted he was.
Kath, I am so sorry for your losses…it is so utterly sad to lose loved ones. I believe there is much grief in this world, not just from death of a loved one but in many different aspects of life’s endings. Big hugs to you as always. Thanks for sharing. ♥
None of us are immune Yvonne, sadly we all go through it and we need to be thankful for every day. because we don’t know when its our turn. Hugs xxx