Compassionate Pioneer in Bereavement Theory

                         elizabeth kubler ross stages of grief 

                    Elizabeth Kubler Ross (1926-2004)

The Kubler Ross Stages of Grief...

Have you ever heard of the Kubler-Ross stages of grief? The one person whose name is linked with the topic of grief in many people's minds is Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

She was a Swiss psychiatrist who spent a lot of time comforting and studying dying people in her hospital. She revolutionized the way the world looks at terminally ill patients, and promoted compassion and caring for them.

She made a great contribution to the study of mourning in 1969 by introducing the "5 stages of grief": denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Unfortunately, her theory was largely misunderstood and applied improperly.

You see, she created her model while working with people dying of cancer. The staging was meant to apply to the phases of grief a dying person goes through, not those grieving the death of another person.

Although some of her principles may well apply to those grieving the loss of a loved one, the linear nature of the process she describes really does not apply well to the grief process we have been discussing in this website.

Dr.Kubler-Ross' work, however, was important pioneering research that is interesting and helpful for us to understand anyway.

These are the Kubler Ross stages of grief:

  • Denial: "This cannot happen to me!"
  • Anger: "Why did this happen to me? Who's to blame for this?"
  • Bargaining: "Just let me live 'til my daughter's wedding, and I'll do anything"
  • Depression: "I am too sad to do anything"
  • Acceptance: "I'm at peace with what is coming".

Dr. Kubler Ross later stated that she had never meant for the 5 stages of grief to "help tuck messy emotions into neat packages". There is no single pathway or progression through grief, and that is the main fault of any attempt to stage grief like this. Even the different Kubler-Ross stages can be experienced multiple times, at the same time, and in any order.

So there you have it. That's the story behind the Kubler Ross stages of grief...



~Are you devastated by the loss of a
    loved one?
  ~Bewildered by all the strong emotions
     and crazy symptoms?     
  ~Wondering how you are ever going
     to survive?
  ~Tired of being stuck in a complicated

 Back To Life!
Our Personal Grief Guidebook might be just
    the help you are looking for. Read more about this most
    useful and practical recovery guide here: Back To Life!


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