February 8, 2011
The Seven Stages of Grief
Grief is the body’s natural response to a loss. The loss could be felt for the death of a loved one, loss of a friendship, loss of a spouse, someone or something that is considered dear to you or possibly a fatal injury that could lead to death. Almost everyone suffers some type of emotional distress caused by their loss. Grief is specified as a feeling of intense sorrow or sadness due to severe injury of a loved one and most of the time, death. This feeling of grief is an emotional reaction that will soon pass with time, but in some cases, may take years to get past. The grieving person passes through many complicated stages with many different emotions that tag along with each stage of grief. The usual initial reaction comes in shock and disbelief, your first stage. Shock is a self-defensive state of mind with outcomes of denial of the facts that have happened. The person may think they are daydreaming and will refuse to accept the situation at hand. The hearing of the news does not tend to register with the griever, who in turn disregards the facts, and may also try and prove the messenger cannot be trusted. The next stage is denial, which usually does not last long. Most people tend to refuse to accept and are unable to accept the reality of the situation. Many times the person is simply trying to wrap their head around the fact of death or severe injury of a loved one. Denial does not mean that you don’t know that your loved one died, it simply means you have come home and cannot believe that that loved one is not going to be walking through that door again. Denial is our body’s personal protective mechanism that helps us to cope with the overwhelming situation and make survival possible. The following stage is one of bargaining on hearing of a loss. Here the person or patient wants to negotiate the terms of the illness with someone. The sentiment here is to...