Grieving is a process that happens when you lose something or someone.  I leant about the stages of this when I trained as a change facilitator as people do grieve for the things they left behind in a the course of Change.  Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross described it as a five stage process:-

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Well regular readers know that I know have personal experience of loss and I have to tell you that after 5 months and a little reflection that the real experience is much messier than this (or any other) models suggest. 

After my holiday I feel further back along this road in terms of emotions although the model might suggest I’m making progress.    It feels these stages are more like a piano keyboard that you wander up and down, sometimes going through several steps in a day.

I learnt today that bereavement comes from old English and means literally to be robbed.  I felt that this original meaning gives much insight into the reality of the experience.  You feel robbed of your dreams, your expectations, your future… 

I feel we have all coped ever so well with our loss but I have a friend who reminds me that the stone on top of a wall is referred to as the coping stone and its job is to cover the wall and protect the base.  Some times coping gets in the way of healing.

Whether you are dealing with loss of a job, or a role or a loved one, it is a complex and lonely path one walks, no matter what help is offered.  Accepting help is not easy or simple and it has to be offered at the right time, in the right way by the right person to be acceptable.

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4 Responses to “Grieving”

  1. Alan Rae says:

    Dear Richard

    I think it is very brave of you to post this.

    As we get older we get closer to the knowledge that one day there is a funeral in our future that only one of us will walk away from.

    If it’s me that walks away I know I shall feel cut in half. It’s the bargain we make with fate.

    I feel so much for your loss. All I can do is wish you well


  2. Thanks Alan,
    I appreciate your words and hope that you never find yourself in that position. I think it is easier to be the one who goes but I guess we all ask who can best continue alone and who can best help the rest of the family along their roads…. tough, tough questions.

    One horrible and sobering thought is every day there are new families challenged with this and I guess many aren’t as lucky as I am…

  3. Mary Hope says:

    Just read your blog………….I’ve been missing it lately since you’ve not been doing it much, I’m sure I’m not the only one to miss it.

    I’m sorry to read you are where you are but can’t say I’m greatly surprised since I found out a long time ago that the process is not straightforward or sequential but very much like snakes and ladders and consequently exhausting………’s nothing less than a process we could all do without!

    Anyways just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you and truly know how shitty it is!

    Take care,

  4. Thank you.

    I think that is a great analogy.

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