The Stages of Grief

by MSO

“Death is not feared, but is understood to be a part of life, followed by birth and renewal.” Carol P. Christ

Most people know the five stages of grief, otherwise known as the “Kubler-Ross Model”. The five stages include: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Traditionally applied to people going through a terminal illness, this is often applied to dealing with the loss of a loved one. However, this model has come under criticism due to lack of scientific backing.

With the advancements in medicine and scientific technology, the stages have been altered. Because people with a terminal illness can go through bouts of remission and relapse for many years, stages have changed and the grieving process may be prolonged.

New stages have been formulated and explained by Dr. Barbara Okun and Dr. Joseph Nowinski, two prominent psychologists. These new stages are as follows:

* Crisis – normally, anxiety.

* Unity – The people involved in the dying person’s life begin to bond.

* Upheaval – If the dying process is elongated, then sometimes the rekindled relationships will wear thin and people will begin to cause conflict within the group.

* Resolution – This gives family time to redefine their roles within the group, solve conflict and maybe create new relations.

* Renewal – Starting at the funeral, this can involve feelings of sadness and relief. Again, this is another opportunity to make new relationships.

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