Debunking the Five Stages of Grief
The Five Stages of Grief, a model developed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, suggests that we go through five distinct stages of grief after a loss: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance, is often discussed in grief support groups and with grief coaches and therapists as ‘the guide’ for grief recovery. But does it help you heal from grief? Here, I expose the holes and flaws of this process.
A significant amount of suffering after a loved one’s death is caused by limiting beliefs about death and dying. Decades of conditioning to vilify death have nurtured a pool of poison that destroys the human spirit. A belief that a loved one is buried and becomes dust in the wind will provoke despairing hopelessness.
A significant amount of suffering after a loved one’s death is caused by limiting beliefs about death and dying.
Below are seven fundamental flaws with the Five Stages of Grief process:
1) First, The Five Stages of Grief is not a process. At most, it is an observation of the emotions experienced at any given time while grieving.
2) Grief is not linear. The experience of grief is not linear; it is random. I’ve had clients experience all of those stages in one day and then repeat them the next. Some people believe they have to experience all stages before starting the healing process. And others experience the stages over and over again and feel defeated because they believe the last stage is the end of grieving.
3) The experience of each stage is not always distinct; they can be experienced simultaneously and several times a day.
4) Everyone experiences grief differently, so, every person does not always experience every stage of grief. When my father died, I considered it a good end to his life. He was 93 years old, and he had a life filled with family, friends, kids, and grandkids. In the end, he was in his beloved home, surrounded by his loving family. I did hospice, and a nurse came in daily. I didn’t leave his side for the last three weeks of his life. When he passed, I cried, and I was grateful I had time with him before he left us. I have sweet memories of his last days on earth, and I didn’t experience other stages.
5) It doesn’t address secondary complications such as fear, shame, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and illness from the stress of grief.
6) It doesn’t address the depletion of life force energy that can impact every part of your life and is very difficult to get out of if not addressed.
7) It doesn’t address limiting beliefs about death and grief.
So, back to my question; does it help you heal from grief? My answer is No. I believe the Five Stages of Grief is incomplete at best. It is often deceptive and disempowering while reminding you that you are still in one of the stages. Then you feel defeated because you believe you haven’t made any progress.
So, forget the five stages of grief that do not heal grief; instead, find yourself a grief coach or therapist who has a process to handle limiting beliefs, life force energy loss, and secondary manifestations.
Are you ready?
Are you ready to heal your grief and reclaim your life?
• Find clarity and purpose.
• Face the future with confidence.
• Build a life that allows you to love and be loved again.
Learn about the 5 Virtues of Healing Grief and how it can speed up recovery and put you on a path of purpose.