Today, I will write about a topic that is close to my heart; that is how we deal with grief.
A famous psychiatrist known by the name of Elizabeth-Kubler Ross dedicated her life studying and researching this topic. Through her book “On death and dying” she developed a famous five-stage theory for dealing with grief. This theory claims that all of us pass through these stages, one stage leading to another. These stages are composed of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. This is the ‘grief cycle’, which was originally intended for someone who is going through bereavement, however it can be applied to any change or trauma that happens in ones life.
Since 1969, there have been various research and books published on the subject. These suggest that one does not necessarily have to pass through all of these stages sequentially to be touched by grief. An individual can feel anger and at the same time be yearning for the loved one, confused or even feeling numb simultaneously. Such feelings can overlap each other; occur at the same time or they can keep going to and fro from one feeling to another. However, being unique we all take different paths and employ different mechanisms on how to deal with bereavement.
In this blog, I presented one of the very first theories about bereavement and grief. This theory has set the ball rolling for further research and in the next two blogs we will explore this subject in more detail.
– Danica Cassar is a first year psychology student at the University of Malta. Her main interest in the field is play therapy and looks to further her career in the sector. Danica is an intern at Willingness.com.mt.