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Stages Of Grief


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Well I don't know if anyone ever posted this or it is posted somewhere on the site but I thought it might be helpful for the old and new members to understand this process we are going through...I'm no expert just passing a message....

NATS

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Here is the grief model called "The 7 Stages of Grief":

7 Stages of Grief...

1. SHOCK & DENIAL-

You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.

2. PAIN & GUILT-

As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.

You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn't do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.

3. ANGER & BARGAINING-

Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.

You may rail against fate, questioning "Why me?" You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never drink again if you just bring him back")

4. "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS-

Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be "talked out of it" by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.

During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

7 Stages of Grief...

5. THE UPWARD TURN-

As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your "depression" begins to lift slightly.

6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-

As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.

7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-

During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

7 stages of grief...

You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.

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[Note: An updated version of this response appears here: Taking A Look at The Stages of Grief]

Although you haven't cited the source of the information you've shared with us, NATS, it is true that many authors have written about the so-called "Stages of Grief." Your article happens to describe seven stages, and by now most of us have heard about the five stages of dying originally described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her still popular book, On Death and Dying. Unfortunately, since that book was first published (in 1969!) many people have taken her findings much too literally, expecting the dying process to occur in neatly ordered stages, one following the other.

The stages of dying originally described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross are:

1) Denial and Isolation

2) Anger

3) Depression

4) Bargaining

5) Acceptance

It is important to understand that, as wonderful as her groundbreaking work in death and dying was, Kubler-Ross's "stages" model was never meant to apply to those who are in mourning. Her studies were focused on patients who were terminally ill and dying. That is a common mistake you will find repeatedly in the literature still today. But there has been a wealth of research done since Kubler-Ross' pioneering work that focuses specifically on bereavement, loss and grief, and those of us working in the field of thanatology (death, dying and bereavement) have been trying for years to de-bunk this particular myth. For example, in a recent newsletter from Hospice Foundation of America (HFA), Kenneth J. Doka, PhD (Associate Professor of Gerontoloty at the Graduate School of The College of New Rochelle and Senior Consultant to HFA) was quoted as follows:

Dr. Ken Doka succinctly talks about why this matters. "Certainly Stage Models are ingrained within the popular imagination - references to them appear in television shows and movies, and they also remain prevalent in health education...How should one respond to persons, especially supervisors, still tied to older models?" He then goes on to point out that, for anyone who works with those facing the end of life, "It is an ethical mandate to work from the most current knowledge. After all, would a cancer patient wish to be treated by an oncologist steeped in the approaches offered in 1969?" [source: "Message from Amy Tucci," President and CEO, HFA July/August Newsletter Vol. 11. No. 7/8, July/August 2011]

Based on years of experience and extensive research, we now know that grief is the normal response to the death of a loved one, and it doesn't happen in neatly ordered "stages" as such.

Most of us who specialize in grief counseling prefer to think of grief as the personal experience of the loss, and mourning as a process (not a single event) that can affect us in every dimension of our lives: physical, emotional, social, spiritual and financial.

As we have stated repeatedly on this site, everyone's grief journey is unique, and there is no specific time-frame for it. Although grief is different for each individual, finding a way through it successfully requires some knowledge and understanding of the normal grief experience and the work of mourning. That is one reason why our members find this site so helpful, because so many of the posts here are packed with useful information that comes from the hearts and minds of so many different people who have walked this grief journey before us, learned some very valuable lessons, and are willing to share their hard-won experience with those who come after them.

For those interested in reading more about this, see:

The 5 Stages of Grief and Other Lies That Don't Help Anyone

There Are No “Stages” of Grief

Helping Dispel 5 Common Misconceptions About Grief

The Truth About Grief: The Myth of Its Five Stages

It’s Time to Let the Five Stages of Grief Die

Renaming the Stages of Grief

That sticky ‘stage theory’ of grief

Edited by MartyT
Updated
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It's important to note, too, that not everyone goes through each and every stage, and not all in that order. It's good to keep in mind that if we do go through these stages, what is happening, and hopefully our loved ones will be aware and understand.

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That is true and we can go through more than one stage at once or go back and forth between them!

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Everyone is different... My stages of grief:

1) Denial and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, DESPAIR, SADNESS, SELF-HATRED, SELF-ABADNDONMENT, SELF-ALIENATION, SUICIDAL ATTEMPT, INDIFFERENCE, DISINTEREST, NUMBNESS, LOSS OF FOCUS, DISORIENTATION, CYNICISM, SILENCE, ANTI-SOCIAL

2) Same

3) Same

4) Same

5) Same

6) Same

7) Same

If you don't agree, you don't understand my pain. If you think I should see a psychologist, psychiatrist or bereavement counselor, you don't understand that none of them can help me. If you think I should call 911, you don't realize that 911 can't stop me from doing things that I want to do. And please don't mention God to me any more. I went to churches but didn't find any comfort at all. If God can't bring my husband back to life, God can not help me. So, this is my never-ending stages of grief. Call me a loser!

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I do understand your pain, I married my husband when I was eighteen and he was twenty-one. This was in the seventies. We started our family right away and were best friends, lovers and everything in between for 34 years. I never dreamed that we would not grow old together and spoil our grandchildren together. I guess I'm just trying to tell you I have no advice and wouldn't give it if I did. It feels like you just need to talk and we're here whenever you feel the need to say whatever you want without judgement being cast. Hope you find some peace today. Love, Pam

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Dear sadloser,

Welcome to our club. About incomprehensible pain, that's what the rest of us are stuck on. No easy answers, agreed.

Ron B.

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Sad,

I understand. You wrote it in a witty way, but your message got across loud and clear, and we do understand.

(((hugs)))

Kay

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Sad,

I understand your pain. I was to the point where I didn't care. My heart and chest burned horribly physically and emotionally. And in all, I wished death more than anything. I was googling ways of suicide. Because it gets to that point where, where it's like- excuse my language, "**** it, **** everything, **** everyone."

But it gets better. Time is the most difficult struggle. We have our good days and our bad ones - AFTER - we've come to embrace the situation.

Getting out of the dark days after the pain of death, is a fight no person should have to face.

I'm here if you would like to speak personally.

Take care.

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