Five Stages of Grief

Five Stages of Grief

When we are confronted with loss we tend to go through a series of emotional responses, also known as The Five Stages of Grief. The stages are basically used as a guideline, because everyone experiences their loss differently.

  1. Anger
  2. Depression
  3. Denial
  4. Bargaining
  5. Acknowledgment (Acceptance)

As a pain management doctor, I realize now that I have more in common with some of my patients than I do with my family and friends. Most of them have had a tremendous amount of suffering in their lives. I have had loss as well with the death of my mother, and my wife. But now, with the death of my son, it's exponentially worse. The pain is absolutely unbearable.

When one feels that life has just beaten you senseless, with the losses and tragedy, it is harder and harder to remember the good in life. This crippling and paralyzing pain can make you feel like you don’t want to live anymore. But it just takes time. It's a dynamic process. We are just human. 

Acceptance is not easy to find. It’s nearly impossible. I can not accept my son's death. I'll never fully be able to accept it. A better word is Acknowledgment. We can acknowledge. We can try to turn to the positives in life and choose to be strong. Stronger than you have ever been, but you have to choose it. Choose it for the memory of those you have lost. You must do it for them and those who are left.

We can do this. It's not easy; we just have to choose it.

Keep on loving. Keep on going and do not give in to grief. Let it work for you, not against you.

Be kind to yourself.

Watch and listen to Dr. Marvin Faulkner's latest podcast, The Five Stages of Grief