SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the notion that to arrive at maturity, we have to pass through all five stages of grieving? Can you share your personal experience of going through all five stages of grieving? What helps you stay in motion, doing what you can to make a positive difference?
This is an outdated model of grief that has resulted in a society that misunderstands what child loss means to a family. Newer models speak to an ongoing relationship that changes but is never accepted. It couldn’t be because love never dies. Check out websites like Modern Loss, An Inch of Gray, the org.Cope to be updated.
I was with Ravi Gulati bhiya few days back and during a conversation, we came to point that accepting as a whole is important, It needs great courage to shift from accepting selective things to accepting the whole.
People arrive at maturity in all kinds of ways. When dealing with a loss, passing through all 5 stages of grieving is a way to arrive at maturity, but it's not a have to. Not everyone responds to loss by going through the stages. Our response to grief depends on where we're at in life and in maturity. Many people live in acceptance and respond with acceptance. They're already mature in that way. A significant loss for me that I'm thinking about resulted in deep sadness, internal anguish, grief, a lot of confusion, some bargaining, and acceptance, pretty much in that order; I don't think I was angry or depressed. Knowing that change -- birth and death, beginning and ending, gains and losses -- is always happening, and growing in acceptance of that, helps me stay in motion and find some equanimity.
I have experienced losses of dear friends, father and mother, and three brothers and three sisters and the latest loss of my dear wife. I have learned about death and dying by going through such losses. I have seen my clients going through the five stages of grieving as described by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Personally I have experienced loneliness, emptiness and a deep sense of sadness by the losses in my life. It did not take a very long time for me to accept the passing away of the people so close to me.
Grieving has been an important process for me to accept the unavoidable reality of passing away. Realizing the truth that whoever is born is going to die has eased my pain. Genuine support from my sons and daughter was a great factor in my healing process. I still feel the loss of my wife and also feel the presence of her love. My daily practice of mindfulness meditation has been the anchor in my life. Reflecting on the unavoidable reality of dying has made me aware of the precious gift of life. How to live is in my hand. Dying has taught me the most valuable lesson of living.
May we live our life fully, gracefully and gratefully!
Jagdish P Dave