In the book, Kubler-Ross said that grief could be divided into five stages after years of observing terminally ill patients and what they are going through. At the time, the concept was revolutionary since no one has been studying terminally ill patients and their mental health at the time. Nevertheless, it became widely accepted as time passed by.
Here are the five stages of grief, explained.
Often dubbed as the first stage, denial is when the person is unable to process the terrible news they have heard. David Kessler, an expert who co-authored two books with Kubler Ross, believes that denial happens to help us survive the loss or the news of being terminally ill.
During this stage, the mind would often deny the facts and tell us that what we heard is wrong, or there might have been some sort of misunderstanding.
For example, terminally ill patients might think there might have been a misdiagnosis. Or, couples going through a breakup or divorce would often tell themselves that the other might simply be angry and that everything will go back the way it was before.
Denial happens so our brain could pace the process of our grief. It is a defense mechanism. It also usually occurs with shock and numbness, as if the world has started to make no sense.
More often than not, anger comes after denial.
After confirming the recent news they have received, a grieving person would often feel frustration and anger and would lash out to anyone who they believe is the source of their grief. It could be the person that brought the news, such as a doctor, or perhaps their former partner, their former employee, or even themselves.
There’s also the question of “Why me?” that people would often ask.
According to experts, anger is an essential part of the process and that you should feel it and let it out for the sake of your healing and for your mental health. The more you feel it and let it out, the faster it will dissipate and allow you to move further to your healing.