Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Kübler-Ross grief cycle

I've blogged quite a bit about the feelings I've experienced since losing my job five weeks ago, even giving a semi-formal list of "Stages of Grief" here (cribbed from Matt Groening's Big Book of Hell.) Several of my friends who lost their jobs with me and also read this blog have thanked me for letting them know that they weren't the only ones experiencing these things. I knew there was an actual realistic formulation of these stages out there - hell, Lisa Simpson mentioned them in an episode of The Simpsons, so it had to be real! But I had no idea what they were, or what the name for them was.

Once again, all was revealed courtesy of The Comics Curmudgeon. I was flipping through all of the old Mary Worth posts this weekend, trying to locate posts related to Rita Boyd and the "broken glass swans" incident, and I came upon a post called Kübler-Ross for dummies (and drunks). And there it was: The Kübler-Ross grief cycle.

You can read about Elisabeth Kübler-Ross on her official website. But here is the Kübler-Ross grief cycle as presented by the Changingminds.org website:

Shock stage: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.
Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.
Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out.
Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable.
Testing stage: Seeking realistic solutions.
Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward.
Hopefully I've finally moved into the Testing stage. I'm putting out feelers, trying to imagine a life beyond the here and now, possibly even one radically different from what I had been doing up until five weeks ago. We'll see where I go from here.

I encourage you to read the full article. Interestingly, these stages were originally derived in an attempt to understand how people with terminal illnesses deal with the knowledge of their illnesses and their impending deaths, but it has been found that people going through other, less acute forms of traumatic change - divorce, the death of a loved one (including a pet), the loss of a job, and so on - experience the same stages. You've probably experienced this yourself. Read about it and maybe in the future you'll be better able to deal with your own feelings, or the feelings of those around you.


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Thanks for putting that link up. I'm glad to hear that you are in the testing stage. :-)

Anonymous said...

My stages of grief depend on the situation. For job loss, they go like this:

1. You can't fire me -- I fire you!

2. Those bastards fired me!

3. I'm still a totally worthy person. I am not what I do. I am a human being, not a human doing.

4. I'd look for a job, but what's the use? The world just turns indifferently to my hopes and dreams, and in the end, we all end up in the grave, to be forgotten.

5. All right, I'll send out some resumes. But now because I need a job.

6. Shit, I got hired. And I was just beginning to settle into being unemployed!

Bill @ BN (formerly IB)

Lauren said...

Lol Anon!!

Betz said...

Harold, I have been thru both divorce and as you know, the loss of both my parents. What you guys are going thru definately reminds me of that kind of grief...even those of us that are left there are greiving for you guys as a loss. Odd thing this.