Brief History of Grief and the Five Stages

Grief is what we feel inside. Mourning is what we experience and show to others on the outside. So I can never see your grief or judge your grief by whether or not you’re crying or angry or upset. Only you will ever know your grief.

The attachment we feel for each other, to those we love, to the house we live, to the job we engage in – will be reflected by the pain we feel later when we no longer have the job, our loved one or our house. We grieve for those we love, we even grieve for those we hate, but we don’t grieve for those we are indifferent to.

In 1917 Freud wrote, “grieving is a natural process that should not be tampered with.” Is that still true today?

In 1917 your family, all of them lived in the same house, if not the same house you lived on the same block or just around the corner. Also when someone became ill they stayed at home and eventually died. They just melted into their bed.

Let’s also look at how we die today vs the 1900’s. Most people dying in the hospital are often separated from their love ones. We are also invited to make complex medical decisions of what’s best for our love ones. So today we often are left with questions;
• Did we do too much in the hospital for a loved one? Did we do too little?
• Should they have tried one more treatment?
• Should we have resuscitated them one more time?
• Would another procedure been good or cruel?

We are left with this medical residue that can sometimes haunt us.

In 2004 one month before her death Elisabeth and David Kessler completed On Grief and Grieving: Finding the meaning of grief through the five stages of loss. This was the first time Kübler Ross had adapted the stages along with Kessler in book form from death and dying to grief and loss.

They also occur in public grieving. We continue to engage in public grieving in new and different ways. Public grieving is real. What about what we see on TV or read on the Internet or Facebook or twitter? The reality is just because you didn’t personally know someone doesn’t mean you didn’t have some attachment to them.

If for some reason you or someone you love is not feeling grief in the way you think they or you would. Just remember we can never truly know anyone else’s grief, and if they’re really running from the pain of loss or the grief, just know that grief is always safely held for us until we’re ready to psychologically and emotionally tackle it .

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