The 5 Steps of Grieving


"The five stages of grief" is a term coined by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her book "On Death and Dying." In her years as a psychiatrist, she discovered the stages people generally go through as they or a loved one near death. She is known for her work in this area. Her book’s enumeration of these stages and the strategies for treatment are used by many physicians.

Stage 1: Denial and Isolation

The first thought is one of disbelief. The person believes the loss could not possibly be true. This stage is often accompanied by a withdrawal from the normal routine.

Stage 2: Anger

The person nearing death, or the person grieving for another, is angry. He may sometimes blame another for the situation, or he may even blame God.

Stage 3: Bargaining

We see it in movies all the time: The dying or grieving person tries to make a bargain with God in order to live longer. This is a very real stage of grieving.

Stage 4: Depression

The reluctance to accept the situation turns to depression. Sometimes a numbness regarding life and its current experiences occurs.

Stage 5: Acceptance

The reality of the situation is clearer and accepted. Most, if not all, of the anger and depression falls to the side.

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