At some point in our lives, we all must deal with the loss of someone we love. The loss may come after a lengthy illness, or it may come suddenly. Our loved one may have spent months or years in a hospital or nursing home, or they may live in our home. However it happens, we must cope with the person’s absence and deal with our grief.
It is widely accepted that people move through five distinct stages as they deal with grief over the loss of a loved one. The five stages of grief are sometimes called the Kubler-Ross model after the Swiss psychiatrist who developed the theory, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. This model set forth a series of emotions people go through as they grieve, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. She introduced this model in her book On Death and Dying. Her model was developed as a result of work she did with terminally ill patients. The stages are not a linear progression, and some people may not experience all of them, but they are a framework to understand what we are feeling when we experience a profound loss.