After suffering significant loss of any kind, in order to stay healthy in body, mind, and soul, we must allow ourselves to go through the stages of grief There are a few different theories regarding grief and the model I relate to most is The Five Stages of Grief explained by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her book "Death And Dying".
Also known as the 'grief cycle', it is important to bear in mind that Kübler-Ross did not intend this to be a rigid series of sequential or uniformly timed emotions or events but something that flows and changes during various experiences over time.
The model is perhaps a way of explaining how and why ‘time heals’, or how ‘life goes on’. And as with any aspect of our own or other people’s emotions, when we know more about what is happening, then dealing with it is usually made a little easier.
While Kübler-Ross’ focus was on death and bereavement, the grief cycle model is a useful perspective for understanding our own and other people’s emotional reaction to personal trauma and change, irrespective of cause. Here are the stages of grief as Kubler-Ross explains them:
|1 – Denial||Denial is a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, reality, etc., relating to the situation concerned. It’s a defense mechanism and perfectly natural. Some people can become locked in this stage when dealing with a traumatic change that can be ignored. Death of course is not particularly easy to avoid or evade indefinitely.|
|2 – Anger||Anger can manifest in different ways. People dealing with emotional upset can be angry with themselves, and/or with others, especially those close to them. Knowing this helps keep detached and non-judgemental when experiencing the anger of someone who is very upset.|
|3 – Bargaining||Traditionally the bargaining stage for people facing death can involve attempting to bargain with whatever God the person believes in. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. For example “Can we still be friends?..” when facing a break-up. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution, especially if it’s a matter of life or death.|
|4 – Depression||Also referred to as preparatory grieving. In a way it’s the dress rehearsal or the practice run for the ‘aftermath’ although this stage means different things depending on whom it involves. It’s a sort of acceptance with emotional attachment. It’s natural to feel sadness and regret, fear, uncertainty, etc. It shows that the person has at least begun to accept the reality.|
|5 – Acceptance||Again this stage definitely varies according to the person’s situation, although broadly it is an indication that there is some emotional detachment and objectivity. People dying can enter this stage a long time before the people they leave behind, who must necessarily pass through their own individual stages of dealing with the grief. source|
Why do I post this on a Monday morning after the last service in the Crystal Cathedral? Although my husband Robert and I have navigated through our grief over the past five years I realize that there are thousands locally, and even more globally, who have not yet healed. My hope and my prayer is to provide helpful information so people will find healing.
An important thing to remember is that grief not dealt with will come out in various ways. Face it head-on and you can move through it. Ignore it, sweep it under the carpet, and it can negatively affect your health and your relationships.
Also, grief is very personal and it has a season of its own. Don't rush it. Feel it. Appreciate it as a season you are moving through. One thing I did was write. This blog was started in 2009, only a few months after we left the ministry. I started it to reach out to all of the church members we were suddenly cut-off from. Little did I know that the people I came in touch with and the process actually helped me more that I could ever help them. For this, I will be forever grateful.
Join my Robert and I on July 15 for "The Call" which starts at 6pm PDT. We will interview a very special guest, Kenneth Lord. He has produced a movie, "Disciples of The Christ" which was written to be released right after "The Passion of The Christ."
Join us to see how you can be a part of The Movement. For more information go to: http://disciplesofthechrist.org/
This promises to be an amazing evening!
We will also pray together, read scripture, listen to a brief message, and have a time of questions where you get the opportunity to ask anything of Kenneth, Robert, or myself.
To join us all you need is a telephone. At 6pm sharp (Pacific Time) call: 530-881-1300 When prompted key-in: 642848#
God is blessing you through all things. Donna