Tag Archives: grief process

The Five Stages of Grief

If you or someone you love is suffering through the grief process, please pick up at least a couple of the above books.  They were written by experts in this field.  In fact, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was a Swiss American psychiatrist who specialized in near-death studies.  She is the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying(1969), where she first discussed what is now known as the Kübler-Ross model, which documents the five stages of grief -

  • Denial — “I feel fine.”; “This can’t be happening, not to me.” Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of possessions and individuals that will be left behind after death.
  • Anger — “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?” Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy.
  • Bargaining — “I’ll do anything for a few more years.”; “I will give my life savings if…” The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, “I understand I will die, but if I could just do something to buy more time…”
  • Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die soon so what’s the point… What’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?” During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.
  • Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.” In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their mortality, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was a psychiatrist and author.  Throughout her career she wrote more than 20 books dealing with the natural phenomenon of dying; the first, and best-known, “On Death and Dying,” was released in 1969. This book introduced the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages are now associated with any major loss or life-changing experience. Her work was instrumental in strengthening the hospice movement in the United States and made the study of the psychological, social, and physical issues associated with dying an important and accepted part of medical training. She was the recipient of twenty honorary degrees in science, law, humanities, and divinity. In 1999, she was one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Important Thinkers of the Century.” In 2007 she was inducted into the National Woman’s Hall of Fame.

I hope this material is helpful in addressing some of the issues surrounding the process of grieving.  These books are meant to be a supplement to the counseling that is provided by an individual who is trained to help individuals work through the grieving process so they can return to a fulfilling and joyful life.

Books to Aid the Healing Process

There are many books that are devoted to providing guidance and help when dealing with the grieving process that is the result of some major life event such as, the loss of a spouse, parent, child, divorce and your job.  Below is a list of the books that I would recommend on this subject.  The material in these books is helpful but it is best to be viewed as supplemental to receiving professional counseling from someone who is trained to deal within this area of specialization.  At the end of each book in below listing is a link that will take you to Amazon.com if you wish to find out more about each book and for you to order those you would like.

I hope this material is helpful in addressing some of the issues surrounding the process of grieving. These books are meant to be a supplement to the counseling that is provided by an individual who is trained to help individuals work through the grieving process so they can return to a fulfilling and joyful life.

Helping Others Achieve Fulfilling and Joyful Life

While I was attacking the grief process I ran onto someone who really opened my eyes.  She is a woman who lost her husband when he was only 33 years old when they had a four year old son.  They had just relocated to a new home.  The second day she woke up to find her husband dead in bed next to her.  You can appreciate that this had devastating results on her and her four year old son.  Being a writer by trade and always maintaining a personal journal, she documented her feelings and wrote down what was going on in her life on a daily basis.

Because of the nature of his death and the early stage in their life together this had a devastating impact on her.  It took her 10 years to work her way through her personal grief process.  Being a writer by trade she decided to put her diary in book form.  It was published about 12 years after her husband’s death.  It is titled From Heartbreak to Happiness®.

The success from this book and the feedback she received from so many people that it had touched caused her to found a new endeavor that she called the Grief Coach Academy®.  This was a very comprehensive program where she trained others to become grief coaches.  Being a businessman by background, I was very impressed that a totally new business could be created where nothing like it existed at the time.

During my attempt to attack the grief process associated with the loss of Gretchen, I came across some of Aurora Winter’s material on the Internet.  The more I researchedAuroraand her business the more my interest was peaked.  Eventually, I decided that this is exactly what I wanted to do.  Even though many will wonder if this fits with my background in Corporate America, I believed that this is what I was meant to do with the rest of my life.

After many discussions withAuroraand listening to her training calls with other grief coaches in training, I can say thatAurorais one of the most heart-centered, warm people I have ever met.  She is has very good interpersonal skills and has the first hand experience of struggling with her own grief process.  A more formal description of Aurora Winter follows:

Aurora Winter is a popular speaker, trainer, coach, and guest on radio and TV. Aurorais the founder of the Grief Coach Academy®. She is passionate about helping others enhance happiness.

A former TV producer, Aurora Winter is the author of From Heartbreak to Happiness®, which has been endorsed by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Her latest book, Encouraging Words, will be available December 2011.

It plays directly into my long-time focus on wanting to help others.  In addition, my interpersonal and communication skill sets would help me in this new career.  If it is possible for a former Chief Financial Officer to be heart-centered, that is exactly what describes me as a person.  So I enrolled in the Grief Coach Academy® and I am in the process of undergoing this top quality training program that will allow me to help others and create a new career for myself.

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11