The Five Stages of Grief

19 Dec

Believe it or not, you can grieve for someone you’ve never even met. So many people are writing me and leaving me comments about how deeply the death of London Marie has affected them, it’s like they are in mourning. And they truly are.

Grief is a normal life process.At some point in our lives, each of us faces the loss of someone or something dear to us. The grief that follows such a loss can seem unbearable, but grief is actually a healing process. Grief is the emotional suffering we feel after a loss of some kind. The death of a loved one, loss of a limb, even intense disappointment can cause grief. Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross has named five stages of grief people go through following a serious loss. Sometimes people get stuck in one of the first four stages. Their lives can be painful until they move to the fifth stage – acceptance.

Five Stages Of Grief

1. Denial and Isolation

At first, we tend to deny the loss has taken place, and may withdraw from our usual social contacts. This stage may last a few moments, or longer.

I went through this stage as soon as I read the bulletin about London Marie’s death. The shock hit me so hard: the world was not just the out-of-control place as I knew it, it was a murderous hell hole and I wanted no part of it.

2. Anger

The grieving person may then be furious at the person who inflicted the hurt (even if they’re dead), or at the world, for letting it happen. He may be angry with himself for letting the event take place, even if, realistically, nothing could have stopped it.

Then I went straight to pure outrage. Who was this “Josh” person and how quickly could I cut his balls off? I was ready to start spitting tacks.

3. Bargaining

Now the grieving person may make bargains with God, asking, “If I do this, will you take away the loss?”

Then I calmed down and I started thinking, “How did this even happen and what could I do to keep it from happening again?” I started blogging and researching for everything I could find: who was the father and what was his story; what was he charged with and what did the laws say his punishment could be; what were the effects on child who survived SBS; were there any resources for parents to help them cope with SBS; weren’t there any bills or laws to help with this sort of thing; who as talking and what were they saying?

4. Depression

The person feels numb, although anger and sadness may remain underneath.

And then one night, I just fell apart. I started crying and could not stop. I was overwhelmed by the horrible waste of it all and the anger and spite people were heaping onto the backs of people they didn’t even know. People were clearly stuck in Stage 2 and nothing I wrote seemed to get through to anyone. I begged for positive energy; I got a little and I made a lot of my own.

5. Acceptance

This is when the anger, sadness and mourning have tapered off. The person simply accepts the reality of the loss.

I’m now at Stage 5. I was able to move through the stages quickly because I have a bit of education in this field and I was able to recognize the stages and deal with them accordingly. Remember that everyone moves through the stages at their own pace. I now accept what happened (without being happy about it or condoning it either) with an sense of calm and will try to help others do the same. Then we can pick up the pieces, implement what changes can be made, and move on — never forgetting but without hate, anger, fear, terror, sadness or bitterness weighing us down.



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