Saint Francis Preparatory School Sociology Discussion

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Death and Dying

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross described the five stages of grief, providing a vital resource for understanding the death adjustment pattern. These stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Dr. Kübler-Ross provides an extensive review of all five stages providing a satisfactory description of the adjustment levels (Corr, 2020). However, the five stages of grieving require an additional level at the end, focusing on developing a new sense of purpose or meaning.

Dr. Kübler-Ross details that when the sudden death of a loved one occurs, the human mind fails to process the event in real-time, accounting for the denial. This dysfunctional sense tries to convince the bereaved that their loved one is not dead. This stage quickly progresses to anger, another reaction to encouraging the individual to assign blame to the healthcare practitioners, religion, or the universe’s randomness (Corr, 2020). When the anger starts wearing off, Dr. Kübler-Ross indicates that the bargaining stage commences focusing on guilt and regret. Regrets about what could have happened lead to depression or acute sadness. However, after the depressive symptoms, the individual develops acceptance of the situation.

In this view, the sixth stage can focus on finding meaning. This stage entails focusing on the developing a new sense of purpose, including changes to ways of living and approaching life. For instance, after acceptance, the bereaved individuals recognize life’s fragility and decide to live a purposeful life. Furthermore, in other circumstances, after acceptance, individuals focus on championing law amendments, a research charity, or more voluntary service to atone for past misgivings and achieve spiritual wellness (Čepulienė et al., 2021). in this view, this stage would describe the most practical conclusion to Dr. Kübler-Ross’s grieving stages.

These insights raises concerns for further consideration including: What is the relevance of developing a new sense of meaning in promoting positive coping mechanisms that foster mental wellness? Is there a correlation between bereavement and resilience considering the potential sixth stage concerned with finding meaning?

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