The Stages of Grief
The Stages of Grief
The emotional stages we experience from a loss vary. Here are some of the emotions that I have experienced personally as well as by close family and friends who have lost someone. They are in no particular order: confusion, anxiety, fatigue, sadness, shock, denial, anger, depression, guilt, bargaining, fear and acceptance. Some of them are similar but not limited to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ famous theory of the five stages of grief (Kubler-Ross,1969) – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance - which were all based on interviews she had with terminally ill patients. Depending on the type of loss that is experienced it can give some insight to what type of emotions may be experienced by the one grieving. I believe there is no right or wrong way to grieve nor is there a time frame on the grieving process. Everyone, young and old, will eventually experience grief. How they process that grief will depend on their experiences. Emotional Experiences in Grief
I remember the moment my mother took her last breath. Right before that happened my sisters and I were all laughing and joking with our aunt and cousin who were on Skype. We all knew my mom was in her transition stage. She was leaving us but nobody knew when. My cousin, who was watching her from her screen, noticed my mom open her eyes. I then heard my aunt who heard my cousin ask “are her eyes open”? When I turned to look at her I noticed her eyes turned to my sister who was sitting on her right, then turn in front of her to my other sister who was laying in front of her then turn to me as I was sitting on her left side. She then looked up, closed her eyes for the last time and left. I looked up at my sister who is a nurse and saw the look on her face as she nodded her head to confirm that our mom had just died. At that very moment I felt fear, confusion and pain go through me. I began to cry at the same time wondering if my mom was really gone. The doubt left me when the hospice nurse arrived to confirm that my mom was no longer with us. I then went into a stage of cloudiness. I felt I was walking on air. My sisters and all other family members were crying as they arrived and saw her. I began to shut myself down from feeling anything. Numbness began to set in. I was her caregiver for 6 years. The last year of her life I became her 24hr caregiver. I couldn’t believe that my mom was gone. Although I expected the inevitable, I wasn’t ready for it to actually happen. My children each went through different emotions. My 23 year old son wrote a note on his facebook page detailing the experience he had once he realized that my mom was gone. He stated one of the first things he did was call his sisters to inform them that grandma had just died and then he grabbed his grandmother’s bible that he was using for bible study and took a walk. Two of my daughters cried and clung to their boyfriends when they arrived and then began to tell funny stories of their grandmother as they talked about her. My oldest daughter lost it. She began to yell and scream when hearing the news. She was in New York City and had to say goodbye to her grandmother on Skype before they came to pick her up. I watched her reaction and hurt for her. If she could climb through the screen to be on the other side she would have. My sisters all experienced different emotions. One experienced guilt for not being there while another was confused. The sister who was a nurse was in two separate modes – the nurse in her acted as well as the child in her. She was trying to be strong and found she was weak as she processed that our mother had just died. Prior to my mother’s death 4 very close friends of mine had experienced sudden losses. I learned from them that there is really nothing you can say to someone when they lose someone they love. You have to allow them to get through whatever emotion they are feeling at the time. I found...
Citations: Use of this standard APA style “will result in a favorable impression on your instructor” (Smith, 2001). This was affirmed again in 2003 by Professor Anderson (Anderson, Charles & Johnson, 2003).
Anderson, Charles & Johnson (2003). The impressive psychology paper. Chicago: Lucerne Publishing.
Smith, M. (2001). Writing a successful paper. The Trey Research Monthly, 53, 149-150.
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