Understanding the Five Stages of Grief
Written by Sue Burhoe
There are so many theories about grief, but one, in particular, seems to cause more harm and good. The five stages of grief have been misinterpreted over time. It was not originally written for a human grieving another human loss.
So, Let’s Talk About Grief
There are so many theories about grief, but one, in particular, seems to cause more harm and good. The five stages of grief that include denial, bargaining, anger, depression, and finally, acceptance, seem to have taken hold in our culture as the golden rule. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
This theory can be a source of confusion for the grieving; it sure was for me. I was surprised to learn that the five stages of grief written by Elisabeth Kuber-Ross were initially based on hospice patients. She wrote it on the process of patients coming to terms with a terminal illness, not what happens when a human grieves another human’s loss. She wrote this to help explain the mindset of one going through one’s own terminal diagnosis.
Grief is not in any way linear. However, one may go through, or not, any of the five stages and many times and in no particular order. Grief is messy; it’s not tidy. Also, grief doesn’t go away and it’s not something you get over. You learn to live with it, and you know over time how to integrate and carry it into your life.
What if we drop the should of and could haves and what other people think we need to do. Let’s be open to the idea that grief will unfold the way it’s going to for you. It is different for everyone. You will have your own way. Be willing to learn from and about grief and despair; it will teach you many things.
You can’t do this wrong.
Sue Burhoe is a Grief and Loss Certified Holistic Life Coach. Sue’s mission is to help people regain their health, heal from a devastating loss and manifest all they want into their life.
Sue is also a Licensed Massage Therapist and Reiki & Integrated Energy Practitioner.