The grief and loss work by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross has been well acclaimed , and in 2007 she was nominated an inductee into the American National Women’s Hall of Fame. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was the recipient of twenty honourary degrees and by July 1982 had taught, in her estimation, 125,000 students in death and dying courses in colleges, seminaries, medical schools, hospitals, and social-work institutions.
Her work revolutionized how the medical field took care of the terminally ill. Her five stages of grief have now become widely accepted. The stages Kubler-Ross identified are:
- Denial (this isn’t happening to me!)
- Anger (why is this happening to me?)
- Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…)
- Depression (I don’t care anymore)
- Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes)
It is widely accepted that these stages of grief are also experienced by others when they have lost a loved one, or a significant change or loss has occurred in their life. Kübler-Ross added that these stages are not meant to be complete or chronological, as anyone experiencing a life-threatening or life-altering may not feel all five of the responses in any particular order. The hypothesis is that the reactions to illness, death, and loss are as unique as the person experiencing them.
These emotional disturbances can cause many people to feel they are approaching insanity.
An experienced and qualified grief and loss counsellor can help people suffering with grief to normalise these feelings – including feeling like you’re going crazy or in a bad dream, or even questioning your religious or cultural beliefs. A counsellor can provide therapeutic support and encouragement to help you identify your own personal growth and resilience.
If you would look to see a Grief and Loss Counsellor, freecall 1800 877 924.