7 Stages of Grief and Loss
What Are the 7 Stages of Grief and Loss?
When most people think of the stages of grief, they think of Kubler Ross and the 5 stages of grief. However, there are several other theories about grief and loss including the 7 stages of grief.
The 7 stages of grief include the 5 stages as theorized by Ross while adding two additional stages. The 7 stages of grief are thought to be shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger, bargaining, depression, testing and reconstructing, and finally acceptance.
It is important to remember that whiles the stages of grief are based upon theory, grief is a very personal experience and unique to each person. You may experience some or all stages, bounce back and forth between stages, or have a totally different experience with grief altogether.
7 Stages of Grief:
Shock and Denial- The first stage of the 7 stages of grief theory is shock and denial. This applies to grief in regards to the loss of a loved one as well as other forms of grief such as the loss of a relationship or divorce. This stage is associated with the person not quite functioning or being in a state of disbelief. The grieving person may not appear to be sad or in mourning as they remain in a state of shock and denial.
Pain and Guilt- This stage is when things begin to sink in and the loss is felt. This stage can be emotionally taxing as the realization has set in and the individual may begin to experience regret. The sense of regret or guilt may come in the form of feeling like there as no closure, they didn’t spend enough time together, or they had things left unsaid.
Anger- This stage is when the person may feel that the loss was unfair. They begin to experience feelings of anger surrounding the loss of a loved one. They may begin forming resentments towards god, other family members, etcetera.
Bargaining- On a personal note, I feel that this stage would more than likely take place as the first or second stage. As previously stated, grief is unique to us all and we may experience different things at different times while going through frief. Bargaining may be conversations with god, trying to fix the situation, or find ways to compensate for the loss.
Depression- Depression can set in as the loss begins to be accepted. Coming to terms with the reality of things can be difficult. This stage, however difficult, can begin the process of healing as the person begins to feel the feelings associated with grief and loss.
Testing and Reconstructing- This stage is about beginning to move forward in life, getting back to a sense of normalcy and everyday life. The person may still be upset or depressed, but is trying to figure out how to live on in spite of the loss.
Acceptance- The final stage is acceptance. This is when the person has accepted what has happened and begins to fully engage in life after the loss. This doesn’t mean the person may not feel sad from time to time or even experience other stages of grief periodically. It simply implies that they have accepted the loss and are coping.
So, the 7 stages of grief are basically based off of the works of Kubler Ross in my opinion with some additions. However, there will always be varying opinions and theories as we cannot think about grief as one-dimensional.
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