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Understanding the cycle of grief

Dealing with grief is most commonly associated with the loss that we feel when someone close to us either dies, or is only given a very short period of time to live, but grief can extend out to other events in our life that can cause us to feel deep emotional pain, such as the break up of a relationship or the loss of a job. Understanding how the cycle of grief goes through certain stages before we can reach the moment of acceptance can help us to have a clearer picture of what is happening, and will in turn allow us to gain acceptance without dwelling too long within any given area of the cycle.

The cycle of grief was first introduced by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969 through a book called “On Death and Dying”, and within it she included a cycle of emotional states that people experienced as they progressed from the moment of when they first hear the bad news to the moment when they finally gain acceptance. Listed below are the stages of the Kübler-Ross model of grief:

1. Shock Stage: This is when the person initially comes to grips with the reality of the tragedy, but there are sometimes moments before this stage where bad news is given, but the reality of its severity isn’t realized until this first stage takes place.

2. Denial Stage: This stage occurs when the person tries to close their eyes to the evidence of the tragedy, and pretend like everything is normal, thereby allowing themselves to escape from the pain of loss.

3. Anger Stage: Once it’s realized that the tragedy is actual and there’s no way to ignore it, the next step is to feel anger toward whatever or whoever has caused the tragedy to occur.

4. Bargaining Stage: Once the person faces up to the fact that getting angry won’t accomplish anything, the next step is to find a way to avoid the tragedy through some type of alternative that will restore hope. This type of action will sometimes find a solution to the tragedy, but in cases where the tragedy is irreversible it’s important to not put much stock in false hope that will only cause the individual to revert back to the stage of anger.

5. Depression Stage: When the feeling that all hope is lost, what happens next is a period of depression that is most often the longest stage of the cycle if the individual doesn’t have any type of support system in place that will allow them to express their feelings, and to eventually to terms with the loss.

6. Testing Stage: The testing stage occurs when somebody that has been in a period of depression starts to try different things to help them get out of the slump they’re in. Using the support system of talking to others that have experienced similar loss is one of the most common methods of the testing stage, and can help the individual feel like the tragedy isn’t just directed at them, but is common to others.

7. Acceptance Stage: This is when the individual finally comes to terms with the tragedy and is able to proceed with living life with an understanding of the tragedy that is devoid of the despair and anger found in the previous stages.

Samantha Neil is a guest author who promotes satellite TV dealers such as Dish TV that provide special offers to help consumers lower their home entertainment costs. To find out the current Dish deals in your area, call them for a free quote.

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