Grief is a usual part of many of our lives. No matter how much we wish to deny it, it’s always there. Some express the stages of grief, while others prefer to bottle up their emotions on the inside.
Grief happens to us all, making it a universal phenomenon. Whatever the case may be, one thing is for sure. And that revolves around identifying grief and dealing with it accordingly.
Below, we’re discussing some of the most common models that showcase the various stages of grief.
Where did grief originate from?
According to a popular psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kubler Ross, grief is divided into 5 stages. This observation was made by the known psychiatrist, after spending a great number of years with terminally ill patients.
Today, these 5 stages of grief theory are commonly referred to as the Kubler Ross model. While the model was known for ill individuals, it became popular with all those individuals who suffered from loss too.
Despite being popularly known, there are a number of other stages of grief models out there too. Consequently, these vary by miles, with some ranging from seven, while others include only two.
A closer look at the popular 5 stages of grief model
The five common stages include the following:
It’s not necessary that all humans experience all 5 stages of grief. At the same time, the sequence of stages also varies from individual to individual.
Believe it or not, grief is uniquely different for all. Some experience loss at the beginning while others follow it up with anger as well as denial. Also, it’s not uncommon for a person to be stuck in one stage and not move on to the other stages of grief.
Stage One: The Denial
It’s very hard to accept the fact that you’re undergoing the process of grief. Hence it’s so much easier for so many people to deny the facts.
In denial, you have time to reflect and absorb that news. You can think of it as a defense mechanism that eases the entire situation for you.
At the same time, once you come out of denial, things are tough. You’re confronted with a mixed range of emotions. Some you can’t help but feel and that’s also a part of grief.
Stage two: The Anger
Grief has a weird way of expressing itself as anger. You can think of it as a brilliant masking effect. Coincidently, anger gives you the freedom to hide all the pain and emotions.
Your anger is towards others. On many occasions, this includes an ex, an old boss, or the deceased. Nevertheless, it’s not unusual to aim the anger towards any inanimate objects.
Deep down inside, your heart knows that your anger’s target isn’t the one to blame.
Stage Three: The Bargaining
Grief presents itself with feelings of vulnerability as well as helplessness.
At that point in time, we all want to feel in control.We’re surrounded by statements that sound like ‘what if’ or ‘if only. ’ And this is the power of bargaining. It’s a way through which individuals postpone their emotions of hurt and sadness.
Stage Four: The Depression
Depression is equivalent to one of the quieter stages of grief. You’ll see people isolating themselves while appearing confused and messy. It’s like an overwhelming feeling, while your heart is heavy. It always helps to talk to a therapist during this stage.
Stage Five: The Acceptance
Acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean a happy ending. On the contrary, it does signify that a person accepts their situation for what it is.
You can compare it to a feeling like no other. You realize that there’s some major change. Hence, that affects how you feel about so many other situations. On another note, acceptance means knowing that good is coming but there will still be some bad days. And that’s ok.
It’s important to understand that every person tackles grief in their own unique ways. It’s a personal and emotional experience, incomparable to all others.