Elisabeth Kübler-Ross really hit one out of the park when she published her five stages of grief in, “On Death and Dying”. I have this book or, my mother had this book. My mother read everything. She was a therapist and often counseled people on grief. She was also an avid reader of good books, I would love to be able to impress her with some of my new friends. Well, back to the stages of grief:
1. Denial — Yes, absolutely — did it.
2. Anger — Without a doubt — just ask my co-workers.
3. Bargaining — Ahh yes, a tricky one — but, did it.
4. Depression — Hardest to admit to — but, yes, did it.
5. Acceptance — Hmm. Well, this one is tricky as well. I don’t think we ever accept our grief — unclear on this one.
I definitely am not going to dispute any of the Kübler-Ross stages (that would be like saying Shakespeare was a hack). But, I do think some attention should be given to some additional stages. For example:
1. Chocolate — As we know, chocolate has actual healing effects on the body. Some of which are; benefits to the circulatory system, brain stimulator, cough preventor, anti-diarrheal. Of course, the problem arises when we combine chocolate with stages 1, 2 and 4 on the Kübler-Ross scale. This then can lead to obesity — that is bad. But, then again, we are talking about grief here — and all good bouts of grief start with chocolate. So, I think chocolate should get an entire stage to itself in the grief process.
2. No motivation to do anything for yourself — yes, I know this is similar to the depression stage but I think the dissimilarities are enough to point out. Sometimes during grief, you maintain your ability to do for others — to get the kids to all their sports, to do the laundry, to clean the house. What I’m really referring to here is not doing anything for yourself. For example, maybe you were eating well and exercising regularly before the grief. But then, you just didn’t care anymore — about your own health. This gives the no motivation to do anything for yourself its own stage.
3. Cooking — Bear with me on this one. There is something about grief that paralyzes our ability to cook. Others recognize this and bring you food — this is good. I love to cook. I used to cook quite often. I have starting cooking again. Sometimes grief can be measured in how often you cook. Therefore, cooking gets its own stage.
4. Twitter — Ok, ok. Those of you who know about twitter, know of its healing qualities. Naysayers, I say to you, just give it a try. I actually set-up my twitter account when I had to move my mother to the Alive Hospice unit downtown (I was bored, not much to do there). I didn’t start actually using it until about four or five months ago. (The previously mentioned stages of grief were in control at that time). But, once I understood it and could find people I related to — it was like being immersed in the healing powers of the Dead Sea. So twitter gets its own stage of grief (on the positive end of the healing curve).
5. Blogging — you knew it was going there. I started this blog just as a way to vent (actually, I guess that’s why all blogs are started). It was due to the people I connected with on twitter — (see how we’re still on the positive side of the healing curve). Through my own blogging, I re-discovered a passion for writing, for friendship, for sharing. Therefore, blogging deserves a stage to itself because of its ability to bring you through safely.
Back to Kübler-Ross and the acceptance stage — I still don’t know if this stage actually exists. To accept means to believe that the situation is final — it is not. A very wise friend told me that sometimes we need, “… a distraction and reminder that we don’t get to stop time, and that’s probably a good thing.” Sometimes you just need a little distraction to help you get to where you need to be — back on the treadmill, back in the kitchen, back to the keyboard.