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The Main Stages of Overcoming Grief Essay

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Updated: May 10th, 2022

Grief is one of the most complicated processes which is to be combated. Some people are able to cope with grief individually, others need assistance. There are even cases when people need professional help to cope with grief. However, no matter whether people need professional assistance or they are able to cope with the issue individually. enial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are the main stages of overcoming grief, according to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross & David Kessler (2005). At the first stage which usually occurs right after the disaster appears people start denying the situation. Many people cannot believe that such an accident could happen to them. The denial is substituted with anger. People start convincing everyone in their pain, their anger becomes too big as they cannot still understand why it has happened to them. After anger bargaining comes when people are able to promise everything to return the lost ones. Depression is the sign of the future recovery as if a person is in depression he/she begins to realize that the loss is real and that nothing can be changed. After depression and acceptance come, a person does not only understand the loss but also accepts it and continues living further (Kübler-Ross & Kessler, 2005). Kübler-Ross and Kessler (2005) stated that these five stages are the most common, however, some people may skip one or two stages or mix them experiencing the stages in a different order.

Reading the bible and especially the Book of Job, it is possible to follow how this person overcomes grief. Being very devoted to God and having skipped many stages discussed by Kübler-Ross and Kessler (2005), Job appears at depression for several days without having a desire to speak to anyone. After the depression, Job shifts to the anger stage, however, this anger is not on God, this anger is directed as personal self as Job understands that human actions are based on what they have done and if God has allowed the loss to happen it was a necessity and God is not guilty in it. Then, anger is substituted with understanding and acceptance of the loss. The grieving process in Buddhism has another nature and the stages differ. Grieving in Buddhism people feel numbness and denial. Then, like in Christianity, anger comes. Further, a person experiencing great sorrow for those who he/she has lost. Depression is the next stage in the grieving process. Then, a person feels despair as he/she is unable to change anything. Furthermore, confusion comes as one is unable to understand what he/she is to do and what is going to come next. Acceptance is the final stage that comes (Wada, K., & Park, J. (2009).

Trying to consider other methods of overcoming grief and applying those to real-world situations, the following issues should be considered. Buglass (2010) has conducted research with the purpose to understand which model of grieving is the most effective. Having stated Bowlby’s (1973) grieving model which comprised shock, yearning and protest, despair, and recovery, the author refers to Parkes’ (1998) theory which does not differ greatly from Bowlby’s one (shock or numbness, yearning and pining, disorganization and despair and recovery). However, considering these stages it seems that something lacks. People usually experience anger which is not mentioned in the models above. Therefore, it may be concluded that they are not relevant (Buglass, 2010).

Apart from grief discussed in religious literature and the stages of its overcoming, there are also healthcare issues in relation to grief and the measures that are to be taken to overcome it. Considering the measures for grieve overcoming from a medical perspective, it is important to get to know that the cases of nurses grieving are too often. Grief for a patient’s death is a usual affair in hospitals as taking care of people, nurses become too devoted to them. Passing all the stages of grief discussed above many nurses may stay at the depression stage without having accepted the loss Waldrop, 2007). The only way out is intrusion which is important. Nurses’ assistance, as well as the relatives’ intrusion, is obligatory as the earlier the intrusion takes place the earlier the result may occur. It should be stated that in case of early intrusion from the professionals, the stages of grief may be left uncompleted (Brosche, 2007).

Silverberg (2007) is sure that acknowledgment, assessment and assistance are the main stages of recovery from grief. Pointing at these stages as at the 3-A caregiver grief intervention model, Silverberg (2007) is sure that to overcome grief resulting from a patient’s loss, a caregiver should try to understand his/her feelings having stated whether it really grieves or other feelings. After that, the assessment is to be conducted during which the stage at which a caregiver is now is to be considered. Finally, the assistance is to be brought.

In conclusion, it should be stated that Kübler-Ross & David Kessler (2005) model is one of the most effective ones as it includes all the possible stages of human reaction to loss. I was unlucky to experience grief because of a loss of a close person, therefore, I may say that this model is the fullest one as I had to come through all those stages to accept the loss and to learn to live with it.

References

Brosche, T. (2007). A grief team within the healthcare system. Dimensions Of Critical Care Nursing, 26(1), 21-28.

Buglass, E. (2010). Grief and bereavement theories. Nursing Standard, 24(41), 44-47.

Kubler-Ross, E., & Kessler, D. (2005). On grief and grieving: Finding the meaning of grief through the five stages of loss. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Silverberg, E. (2007). The 3-A Caregiver Grief Intervention Model. Canadian Nursing Home, 18(3), 20-22.

Wada, K., & Park, J. (2009). Integrating Buddhist psychology into grief counseling. Death Studies, 33(7), 657-83.

Waldrop, D. (2007). Caregiver grief in terminal illness and bereavement: a mixed-methods study. Health & Social Work, 32(3), 197-206.

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