“The five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief.”
In Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ book, On Grief and Grieving, the author created the five stages of grief:
- Acceptance and hope
Despite the fact that Kubler-Ross never intended them to represent a set process, the five stages of grief have created a societal perspective of grief that has hindered the griever’s process.
If you’ve felt like people are surprised that you are still dealing with the loss of a loved one (or a job or a marriage, etc), know that there is nothing wrong. Anyone that experiences loss can identify with these stages but it is not a set process. In fact, we may never see the end of our grief. Years later, something could trigger our emotions and we can experience the depths of our despair once again.