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Coping with the 5 stages of grief

The stages of mourning are universal and are experienced by people from all walks of life. Mourning may occurs in response to an individual's own terminal illness or to the death of a valued individual. There are five stages of normal grief. They were first proposed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book "On Death and Dying." To help with you or a loved one copeing with the 5 stages of grief, help is available through The Reach Approach.

The Five Stages Include:

1. Denial and Isolation: This is often a temporary response that carries us through the first wave of pain. But some individuals can find themselves trapped in this place for some time.

2. Anger: Although often an irrational emotion, we can nonetheless, find we emotionally, however, that we may resent the person for causing us pain or for leaving us. We may then feel guilty for being angry, and this in turn makes us angrier.

3. Bargaining: Secretly, we may make a deal with God or our higher power in an attempt to postpone the inevitable. This is a weaker line of defense to protect us from the painful reality of our loss.

4. Depression: Two types of depression are associated with mourning. The first one is a reaction to all the practical implications relating to the loss. The second type of depression is more subtle and, in a sense, perhaps more private. It is often represents our quiet preparation struggle to separate from and to bid our loved one farewell. This is a time when we often need more intimacy and compassion. Sometimes all we really need is a hug.

5. Acceptance: Reaching this stage of mourning is a gift not afforded to everyone. Death may be sudden and unexpected, or we may never see beyond our anger or denial. This phase is can be marked by withdrawal and calm. This is not a period of happiness but and must be distinguished from depression as it's a place of some healing.

Understanding and coping with the 5 stages of grief need not be done alone, help is available with the Reach Approach. They are there for you in times of sadness and anger and can help you pull yourself through the toughest of times. They can help you find the strength and resources you didn't know you had.

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