Thursday, May 26, 2011

The 7 Stages of Grief

I recently talked to my grandmother on the phone, I hadn't heard from her in awhile and I wanted to see how her and my grandfather were doing.  She explained that one of my cousins had died on my grandfather’s side, and that someone else in her family had passed away that she was very close with.  I thought to myself this may be why I haven't heard from her for awhile, maybe she was in the process of grieving.  I realized that thinking about the seven steps of grieving and how they apply could be broadened to more than just death.  I realized that we process the steps of grief for many things that happen in our lives; a breakup, a job loss, being fired, an illness, etc... I wanted to make sure to express that these steps are a normal process and that sometimes we stay stuck in one step or the other for an undetermined period of time, and this is ok, this is part of the process. I talked to a very dear childhood friend of mine today, he was very upset because he had just been dumped, I felt so bad for him.  Just by talking to him I could identify right away he was in the early stage between Pain and Guilt and Anger and Bargaining, and I was trying to be supportive and help him through this process.  I think these phases are only natural and can easily be identified through observing our own and others processing of grief.

 Here is a link to a great site that describes the Seven Stages of Grief:

The link explains that people who are not aware of the stages of grief may have the attitude that you should just get over it, and that things aren't that bad, this is an outsider’s point of view and not a very helpful one.  I find that there is no timetable for healing, and that thing we may have thought we are well past can spring back up at anytime and it can feel as if the event is happening all over again.  There are not any specific rules to grieving and its process, and why should there be, pain is pain and only the person going through it can truly understand what they feel.   

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