The ‘5 Stages of Grief’ are described as Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining and Acceptance.
When we are struggling with things in life, we often seek out help and guidance in various forms to help us cope and understand what we are going through. When we are experiencing grief, we will more than likely come across ‘The 5 stages of Grief’ a concept by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.
They were initially developed to reflect the emotions experienced by terminally ill patients and their families. It is said that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross regretted the way the five stages had been misunderstood and later used to describe the ways in which people react after a death. This is not how the five stages were intended to be interpreted.
The reality is that ‘yes’, you may well experience some, or all, of these five stages and more, or none at all!
And not necessarily in any particular order and that’s ok. We are all different and unique, and the way in which we process grief is entirely our own personal journey. It may not follow any stages and may not be linear at all. You will have your own realisations and experiences.
Grief can be unpredictable. Some refer to it as a rollercoaster with its unexpected twists and turns, ups and sudden downs.
You may feel you have taken a step forward only to take ten steps back. You may feel you have turned a corner, only to be catapulted into a sea of multiple, overwhelming emotions; feeling unable to catch a breath.
Grief is a perfectly normal and healthy response to loss, and many things can influence how you may grieve. Your relationship with the person who has died; the impact and influence they had on you and your life; a sudden death; how resilient you are; the type of support network you have around you; and previous life experiences.
When we let go of grief models, and others expectations of how we should be, we can follow our own grief journey.
There simply is no right or wrong way to grieve, and certainly no timetable.