Stages of Grief

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross identified five stages of grief that patients with terminal illness experience prior to death. The stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. With time, the “stages of grief” became popularized and widely known as the stages people experience when there has been a significant loss in their lives. Kübler-Ross’ work is credible, no doubt! The problem is the misperception that once we pass through each of the five stages, we are then healed. Not to say this doesn’t happen for some people, some of the time, but grief typically has no set linear pattern. People often describe feelings of grief as hitting them like waves in the ocean, coming and going, some smaller, some bigger, and some crashing down hard without warning.   

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