The NEW stage in the Grief Cycle

In her 1969 book On Death and Dying Elisabeth Kübler-Ross published what is known as the 5 Stages of Grief and Loss.

In this post, I want to introduce a 6th step that I believe is now a necessary amendment to the cycle.

The stages are:

  • Denial: The need to resist the change
  • Anger: Expressing anger that the change has occurred. How dare he leave me
  • Bargaining: What can I do to somehow turn things back they way they were
  • Depression: Recognition that the change is here to stay and facing the void
  • Acceptance: This is now the new norm

The step I am introducing here is:

  • Adaptability: Altering behaviour to exist, function and prosper in the new norm

Acceptance, the current fifth step is what is known in NLP terms as a stuck-state. This is a state where once achieved, creates a gravity around it where we do not wish to exit.

Acceptance is one such state.

Others include bliss, happiness, contentment.

If you imagine feeling any one of these states you will notice there is little motivation to do anything else but feel them.

Adaptability, the sixth state has movement. When you adapt, you change behaviour and activity to accommodate a new normal.

Why is this important to you?

Right now, it’s important to identify where you are in the grief cycle. You could be in any of the states and movement between them is not linear. You could move from one state to another at any moment.

You must move into Acceptance as quickly as possible.

And the moment you are there, even if it is for a fraction of an hour, you must look at how you can adapt behaviour and activity in the norm.

These small adjustments made over time will solidify the change and allow you to cement your place in the Acceptance/Adaptability area of the cycle, opening you up to new opportunities and resources.

So what do you think?


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