Defining Grief and Loss

Defining Grief and Loss

Grief has been described as the physical, psychological and social reaction to the loss of something or someone important to us. Grief may manifest itself through physiological changes; loss of appetite, insomnia, sorrow, distress or guilt. Grieving is the price we pay for the ability to love the way we do.

Kugler-Ross suggests that there are five stages of grieving. She suggests that grieving is a lineal experience moving through one stage to another. Only after each stage is completed can we then move on to the next stage. The five stages are: 1) shock and denial, 2) anger, resentment and guilt, 3) bargaining, 4) depression and 5) adjustment/acceptance.

Kubler-Ross later revised the concept of lineal stages. She acknowledged that not everyone will experience all the different stages. And some people may pass through each stage several times.

Grief and loss is a very personal experience. The depth and length of the grieving process may depend on the intensity of the attachment.

Christopher Swane - Grief and Loss Counselling - Wellington New Zealand