states of grief


I recently heard the story of Elisabethe Kübler-Ross who wrote an influential book on death and dying. She became known for the 5 stages of grief. Apparently it wasn't originally about grief, it was about dying. But upon inspection grief and dying have some essential emotional states in common -- they both involve unpreventable and undesired loss.

It's too bad it became known as 'stages' and not 'states' because 'stages' implies a kind of order that is not essential and certainly not necessary for the emotional landscape to be acknowledged and lived gently.

If one can feel and dwell in acceptance, that is a gift.