Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Different Kind of Grief

Decades ago Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote about five stages that people dealing with grief are likely to go through; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Since then her theory has been questioned, but apparently most grieving people do go through those stages, although they may be in a different order and some or all stages may be repeated many times.
Death is not the only thing that causes grief. We may grieve at the loss of anything we value, and discovering that we or a loved one have a serious medical condition or special need normally results in grieving. And, unlike death, these things are not likely to be done so that we can deal with them and move on. Instead they often continue for a lifetime.
Those things can bring about the death of a dream, such as when a child is diagnosed with something that will prevent him or her from having the expected sort of childhood, or when people discover conditions that will prevent the kind of career or marital relationship they had or hoped for.
It's perfectly normal for people dealing with special needs to have certain stages of grief occur many times during their lifetimes.

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