Monday, February 21, 2011


It has been surmised in the Kubler-Ross model that grief is shown in a progression of five stages: denial (“Everything is fine...”), anger (“How could this have happened? Who is to blame?”), bargaining (I will give anything for him to come back for just one more day!”), depression (“It is horrible that this happened- why bother with anything at this point?”), and, finally, acceptance (“What's done is done. I need to move on.”).

As I have experienced, however, this doesn't seem to be the case.

In the recent case of a family member's sudden death, each person grieved differently- from holding everything deep inside to keeping as busy as possible. The emotions that each individual had were so diverse: hopelessness, distress, anger, disbelief, compliance...

Set stages of grief were not involved as each person's personality is so different.

My point is that it's just so unclear how one supports those who are mourning, because the process is so diverse. Whereas some people just need to be alone, there are many who need the comfort of people around them often.

Do we honor a person's memory by participating in activities that had once made him happy?

Do we take time to consider how life will be so incredibly different now that he's gone?

Do we just... move on?

So I pose this question to my wonderful readers: how do you handle grief and sadness? How do you wish you handled it? What are your thoughts on supporting, comforting, and encouraging those who you love as they grieve?

I so look forward to your comments- I guess putting it into words is how I grieve.


  1. You are so right every family grieves differently. Unexpected loss can forever change the dynamic of a family.

    Thanks for the follow at
    giving you a follow back. Have a great week.

  2. Following you back from the blog hop! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. We lost 4 babies to miscarriage after having had our 2 boys. Comments were NOT helpful. Everyone kept saying, "You have two, you should be thankful. Something was obviously wrong.....blah blah". And then "Get over it, already".

    However, I had plans for those 4 babies in 3 pregnancies and HAVING a child already made me very aware of what I had lost. I finally sought Christian counseling where a wonderful woman, also a grieving mother of babies in heaven (and 2 on earth) shared with me this and I think it applies to ALL grief:

    We won't get over it, but we will GET THROUGH IT.

    When we stop trying so hard to "get over it already" to make others happy, and allow ourselves to "get through it", the pressure is gone. The burden is relieved. We are "allowed" our pain, our grief, our memories.

    I remember I stopped going to church because someone would always walk up and get my crying and maybe I hadn't cried that day or for two days and was really proud of myself. I wanted to control my tears. But none of that made it any better.

    Hugs. A card on the anniversary saying "Thinking of you". Meals. Just listening. No words. THAT meant more than anything.

    Only another mother who has miscarried really has the right to "say something". ONly someone who has lost THEIR mother really understands. Others can try. And many get impatient. That's why hugs, sitting in silence "in case" I want to talk (and then not judging).....many people can easily stomp on anothers right to grieve.

    I created this website for grieving mothers with poems and music (plus the story of our babies) and it has been SUCH a blessing. I recommend encouraging grieving folks to gather anything they can for memories. AT the moment, they might be tempted to throw everything away, but it is best to wait until they feel more rational before making such a choice.

    Great question. New follower, btw.

  4. Thank you so much for the sentiments- Cheri, I'm so sorry far your losses, it must have been horrible for your family to go through that.
    I so love the expression that you used, "We won't get over it, but we will get through it."
    Thank you so much for sharing your insights from someone who's gone through a terrible loss.

  5. I'm really bad at this process. I think I just bottle everything inside. Don't show anything. Don't cry. People probably think I'm, like, this really cold-hearted person, but truth is, I don't want to deal with the reality that they're gone.

    Thanks for following me. I'm following you!

  6. Thanks for linking up with us at MFM. I'm returning your follow from The Thrifty Things.

  7. After losing my mom I found out something I had not known about grief. It has an ebb and flow. After the initial shock and pain leave, they are replaced with years of good and bad days. You know never know what will bring up the grief, and you never know what will actually just bring back nice memories.

    The way I deal is just let it happen. The only way out is to go through. I tell my husband when I'm having a "bad mom day", which now happens only a few times a year. He knows what this means, and we get through the day.

    I'm a new follower, found you through the blog hop. Please stop by my place too!

  8. All the insights I have received after posting this yesterday have been so beneficial- thank you so much everyone!

  9. what an interesting conversation... During my times of great loss, I didn't appreciate comments, either...especially "i know how you're feeling..." No, they didn't... but the friends who were just there... cried with me and said nothing, they made a huge difference in my life and softened the grief some.

    Glad I found you through FMBT. Hoping you stop by and follow me back.

  10. Stopping by to say hello from FMBT..
    I'm a denier.. I always hold things inside and feel its my job to be strong for everyone else.. It does kill me inside though but others can't hold it in nor can they hide it and I do think everyone grieves differently and on different levels depending on the situation..
    Great Post by the way. Glad I stopped by and look forward to coming back to chat :)
    Have a great week

  11. My infant son died in 2009 and we were shocked (to say the least). I started blogging. I started writing a lot and connecting with others who had similar situations.

    It helped, but mostly I cried a lot...A LOT. That felt good too, lol.

    This is a great post.

  12. Oh yeah, I am very very sorry for your losses, and I think people mean well. They don't know what we go through.

  13. Oh, Salma- what a terrible and shocking experience that must have been for you. I hope that you have found a bit of peace since then.

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