(According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross; a Swiss-American psychiatrist)
Kubler-Ross is best known for her work on the psychological stages of dying. She proposed the "Kubler-Ross model," which describes the five stages of grief that a person may experience after experiencing the loss of a loved one or life-changing event.
These five stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance and apply to both human loss and pet loss.....(anyone who has a place in your heart can cause unbelievable pain when they leave your side).
1. Denial: The first stage is characterized by a refusal to accept the reality of the situation. During this stage, the person may deny the existence of the problem or refuse to believe that it could happen to them. This stage can be a defence mechanism that allows the person to temporarily cope with the overwhelming nature of the situation. It can also be a way to protect oneself from the pain and trauma of the event.
2. Anger: According to Kubler-Ross, anger is a natural reaction to loss, disappointment, or injustice. It is a way for individuals to express their frustration and disappointment in the situation.
Kubler-Ross believed that expressing anger can help individuals feel more in control of the situation and can act as a release for pent-up emotions.
It can also act as a motivator to take action and make changes in the individual's life. However, Kubler-Ross also recognized that if anger is not properly expressed or dealt with, it can lead to negative consequences such as depression or even physical illness.
3. Bargaining: This stage occurs when a person is faced with a significant loss or impending death and they begin to make deals or bargains with a higher power in an attempt to change the outcome. This stage is a way for the person to regain a sense of control and hope, even if it is only temporary.
The bargaining stage may involve making promises or agreements such as: "If you let me live, I will be a better person" or "If you take me, please spare my loved ones." The bargaining stage can be a way for people to process the reality of their situation and come to terms with the inevitable.
However, it is important to note that not everyone goes through all of the stages and the order may vary from person to person.
4. Depression: Kubler-Ross believed that depression is a sign that an individual could be stuck in the grief process. She emphasized the importance of support and understanding during this time and encouraged therapy and other forms of support to help individuals work through their emotions and move forward.
In this particular stage, you may temporarily withdraw from life, to protect yourself from your heartache. The world may seem too overwhelming for you to deal with. You might not want to be around other people or even feel like talking, and you may experience feelings of hopeless. You may also feel numb and not feel any motivation to get out of bed.
In summary, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross believed that depression is a normal and natural response to loss or change and should be viewed as a stage of grief rather than a disorder.
5. Acceptance: This stage is characterized by the individual coming to terms with the reality of their loss and accepting it as a part of their life. They may still feel sadness and pain, but they also feel a sense of peace and understanding. They have come to understand that death is a natural part of life and that it is something that everyone will eventually have to face.
Acceptance is not the same as giving up or giving in. It is about acknowledging the reality of the situation and finding ways to move forward. People who have reached this stage may still grieve and feel sadness, but they are able to do so in a healthy way. They are also able to find meaning and purpose in their lives again, even in the face of loss.
Overall, acceptance is an important part of the grieving process and helps individuals to find closure and healing. It is not something that can be forced or rushed, but rather something that happens naturally over time.
It's important to note that not everyone experiences grief in a linear or predictable way, and some people may not experience all of the stages. Additionally, the stages can occur in a different order.
In her book, "On Death and Dying", Kubler-Ross emphasizes that everyone grieves differently, and there is no right or wrong way to feel during the process. She encourages individuals to allow themselves to feel anger, but also to work through it in a healthy way. This can include talking to a therapist, journaling, or expressing feelings through Art or other creative outlets.
If you are suffering the loss of your beloved pet, here is an amazing Instagram channel that you may find helpful The Pet Psychologist.
There are also more helpful links at the bottom of this page....All we can do is take it one day at a time; sadly, grief has no time limit.