Grief 101: The Five Stages of Grief…

At some point in our education about death and grief, we may have heard of the five stages of grieving. As a society we have mistakenly developed a view of the bereavement experience as a sort of numbered pathway that has a distinct beginning and end. However, bereavement professionals have pointed out our flawed application over time. What are these five stages of grief?

Grief 101

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my affiliate disclaimer for further information.

The five stages of grief were introduced by Swiss psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in On Death and Dying (1969). They are:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

The stages have been largely misunderstood as a strict order of emotions through which grievers pass after experiencing a loss. Rather than passing through a progressive sequence of emotions in response to grief, the five stages represent the most common emotions people experience throughout grief.

Grief is not a five-step process that ends once you reach acceptance. The stages Kubler-Ross observed in her work with the terminally ill patients are a rough guide to the varied and complex journey that is grief. Many people experience all of the stages in some form. Others experience some, but not all. Grief is a unique experience, tailor made to each griever.

Grief 101 will explore the meaning of each “stage” in the forthcoming series of posts.

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my affiliate disclaimer for further information.

Published by ancarroll

Alexandra N. Carroll is an Adjunct Professor at St. Michael's College in Vermont. She writes on grief and self-care from her home in Burlington. In her spare time, Alexandra crochets, reads, and explores.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: