The 5 stages of Grief and Dying

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Her_Infernal_Majesty
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August 10th, 2006 at 09:37am
I was being all pilosophical and I came apon this text written by Barbara Gould. It got me thinking...

Preparing for approaching death can be terrifying if you have no idea what to expect both physically and emotionally. As the dying process enters its final stages there are two different dynamics at work.
The physical aspect concerns the body as it begins its final process of shutting down; this ends the physical systems' functioning.

The other dynamic is the emotional/mental and spiritual area which is a different process. This is where the spirit of the dying individual begins to slip away from its immediate environment and attachments. This release tends to follow its own priorities when it comes to letting go; of family members, unfinished business of a personal nature and/or unreconciled problems. You have all heard people tell how someone on their death bed refused to let go until a certain member of the family was able to get there. Even when the body is trying to shut down the spirit hangs on until a resolution is reached. It is as though the dying person needs permission to go; needs to feel that he has achieved the support and acceptance of his fate by those he leaves behind. This way he can slip into the next dimension of life with grace and dignity.

There are FIVE stages of dying.

There is in all of us a curiosity about dying. Regardless of your religious beliefs there have to be some doubts or shadows of uncertainty. There are five stages involved, some have time to proceed into each stage and come to a peaceful resolve.

DENIAL: I'm too young to die. I'm not ready to die (is anyone ever really ready?). You don't just get up some morning and say, "Well, I'm ready to die today". Even when a physician informs one that nothing can be done for them the feeling that some mistake must have been made is in the dying person's mind. The prediction from ones physician of imminent death can do several things. It can give you time to prepare, take care of business, close doors, make amends. The shock begins to ebb as you come to grips with approaching death.

ANGER: Suddenly you are not in control of your life, or death. You have no choice......you are going to die. You have always known this, no one has come out and stated it as a fact before. It makes you angry, you feel so helpless especially at first, then guilt climbs upon your back Anger is directed at everyone and no one in particular. It is a sense of loss of control which is likely not a new feeling if you have endured a long illness. It is normal. Anger is in its own, a sense of strength. It can also be debilitating.

BARGAINING: You are willing now to compromise. No use denying it, anger comes and goes so perhaps you can make a deal with God! You are willing to promise to do or not to do specific things if only you can be given more time. It can be based on an upcoming event that is important to you. You can be suffering from insecurities regarding a member of your family or a loved one who you feel is yet dependent on you. There can be a rift that has never been eliminated that needs to be further addressed. You are not free to go until these reasons can be alleviated once and for all. You are hoping yet and eager to deal!

DEPRESSION: This is such a normal part of the process of preparing to die. You are already depressed about your incapability's in dealing with responsibility, projects and the situation of every day life. Symptoms of terminal illness are impossible to ignore. You are fully aware that death is inevitable. Aware, angry and filled with sorrow and here again the culprit of guilt sneaks in as you mourn for yourself and the pain that this is causing you family and loved ones. Another totally NORMAL phase.

ACCEPTANCE: This comes after you work though the numerous conflicts and feelings that death brings. You can succumb to the inevitable as you become more tired and weakness hangs on. You become less emotional, calmness arrives and banishes fear along with joy or sadness. You realize the battle is almost over and now it's really alright for you to die.

Hospice defines acceptance...

Acceptance is NOT doing nothing, defeat, resignation or submission.

Acceptance IS coming to terms with reality. It is accepting that the world will still go on without you. Death is after all, just a part of LIFE.


The truth of what she had said really hit a nerve and sparked recognition inside me. I would really like to know what you guys think of this. Sometimes people close to the terminally ill person will go through this stages for the person, Have any of you experinced the stages as a loved one?
Lucifers Angel
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August 10th, 2006 at 03:36pm
to me the depression is the worse thing to go through but you do get through it and then its acceptance
11th Street Kid
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August 10th, 2006 at 04:59pm
You don't just get up some morning and say, "Well, I'm ready to die today".

Confused I do.

But anyways.. on topic:

For me, it'd be the denial or anger stage. I don't want to go through that desperation, trying to cling on within the last few seconds of my life. I don't want to die with the last thought running through my head being: I CAN'T DIE! NOT NOW!

I hate feeling regretful.
robotchicken.
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Mibba
August 10th, 2006 at 09:58pm
Wow, I think the depression well no :// Perhaps the denial. Knowing that if I die I didnt really get what I wanted in life, but either way I cant change my destiny anymore so whatever...life isnt always fair Rolling Eyes
GD Addicts Anonymous
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August 10th, 2006 at 11:51pm
I voted for depression because that would be a horrible feeling. I couldn't imagine how depressed I would be if I knew I was going to die soon.
Her_Infernal_Majesty
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August 11th, 2006 at 09:43pm
Lucifers Angel:
to me the depression is the worse thing to go through but you do get through it and then its acceptance


I kind of agree. But I personally think Acceptance would be the hardest for most people to go through. I mean how do you accept that your going to die. I don't think anyone truly can.
Addison Montgomery.
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Mibba Blog
August 15th, 2006 at 11:40am
I'm not afraid to die.But when I am just about to,I'll be pissing myself.
paper shoes
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August 15th, 2006 at 03:26pm
Acceptance would be the hardest for me. I can't deal with the fact that the world is still gonna exist and people are still gonna experience happiness and sorrow and have feelings when I'll have left this world.
Kurtni
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August 15th, 2006 at 04:24pm
I think Denial would be the worst, maybe you wouldnt know it at the time, but imagine just what you're doing to yourself. You're feeding yourself lies and living off those. Thats horribly unhealthy and what your telling yourself is not true. Nothing you're believeing in at the time is true.
The Doctor
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August 16th, 2006 at 08:05pm
I_worship_tre_Cool:
I think Denial would be the worst, maybe you wouldnt know it at the time, but imagine just what you're doing to yourself. You're feeding yourself lies and living off those. Thats horribly unhealthy and what your telling yourself is not true. Nothing you're believeing in at the time is true.
I concur with this statement.
I.Heart.Panic.
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August 18th, 2006 at 10:39am
I voted 'Denial', but it was a close call between that and 'Anger'. I think Denial is difficult, because your mental state is telling you that you're not going to die, and...you are.....so say you need treatment, and you're so focused on the fact that you're not going to die that you don't have treatment, which could, in the end, make it worse.
It depends what kind of a person you are, really.
wish_i_was_adie
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Mibba
September 15th, 2006 at 11:20pm
I voted denial. When I read the question I wasn't really thinking about myself dying per se, but more about losing someone. I lost someone very close to me, and because I had no closure (long story), I was in denial for a very long time. It's horrible, I hope none of you have to go through it anytime soon. If it's about me . . . I don't know which I'd choose as the worst stage.
Insurgentes
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Mibba
September 16th, 2006 at 04:22am
I think anger would be the worst for me to have to go through.
When it has come to the death of someone dear to me, I lost it. Broke a lot of stuff. Stayed pretty pissed for a long time before it ever really hit me.
So if I knew I was dying, the anger I think would be the worst because I'd likely drive everyone who'd want to spend the time I have left with me away without meaning to.
michaeldirnt
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September 16th, 2006 at 05:21pm
depression probably
Grace Kelly
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September 20th, 2006 at 12:32am
I would have to say accpetance, or denial. Simply because, I have lost some people that I love/ed.
It's hard to believe theyre gone, mad at them for doing it, depressed because you'll never see them again (ect.), but even harder to accept the fact that theyre gone and will never be coming back, you know?
Or was this for...ME to answer, for myself?
I don't know.
But, yeah, whatever.
Unholy Confessions
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September 20th, 2006 at 01:54am
I'd like to agree with Emm somewhat, because for me it's been really hard just accepting that my boyfriend's gone. I would also like to say that eventhough depression is normal when greeving it hits some people harder than others and for me it's... wow how to say this, for me it's really hard. Depression has different outcomes and is different for everyone but I have to say it is one of the hardest to get through. To be able to get through depression and want to get better is huge and it usually takes people a long time to reach that part of greeving.
Sylar
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September 20th, 2006 at 03:11am
Personally I think the denial stage. I mean, I have absolutely NO idea what it's like to be told you're going to die (and I hope I never do), but thinking about it- it would have just hit you like a ton of bricks and you'd be feeling terrified and just constantly asking yourself, "Why? over and over again.
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