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The 5 Stages of Grief...a Myth?

Have you ever heard of the 5 stages of grief? Most people who know what I’m talking about often believe that these stages are for people who have recently lost a loved…but that’s not true.

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, author of On Death and Dying, provided “one of the most important humanitarian works on the care of the dying written in the Western world." First published in 1969, On Death and Dying describes exchanges between Dr. Kübler-Ross and her patients, about reactions to their impending death.

From the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation site:

First, On Death and Dying was never a study of grief and bereavement. It was a discussion of some key emotional reactions to the experience of the dying.”

Secondly, the so-called “stage theory” that you will read in this book is openly described and discussed as a heuristic device. In other words, these stages are merely a set of categories artificially isolated and separately described so that the author can discuss each of these experiences more clearly and simply. The careful reader will note Kübler-Ross’s own repeated warnings that many of these “stages” overlap, occur together, or even that some reactions are missed altogether.”

“Thirdly, many of