As part of the human condition and as I think that this blog relates to that through my occupation as a physiotherapist, the article on grieving, written by Vaughan Bell in the Observer related to the psychology of grief, was worthy of discussion
Mourning can take many different forms across different cultures, based on many different understandings of death. Claims that there is a universal psychology of grief fails when viewing the diversity of humankind. Aboriginal Australians have a taboo about naming or encountering representations of the dead. On the Pacific coast of Colombia there is a belief that the death of a young child is marked by celebrations as it is believed that dead becomes an angel and goes directly to heaven. The Ganda people in Uganda have a strict prohibition of sexual activity during mourning whilst the Cubeo tribe in Brazil have sex as part of the wake.
I was led to believe that when we grieved we followed through certain stages or phases and that this popular belief was normal and it was somehow abnormal if you did follow through these stages. It was the Swiss psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross who first put forward the idea of DABDA; an acronym for denial, anger,bargaining,depression and acceptance and that somehow we moved through these stages of adjustment, and that sometimes you didn't and you got stuck in one or other stage and was then unable to move through the grieving process; or that you could go from denial to acceptance in one move and miss out all the other stages and so on. It turns out that she was talking about ones own acceptance of death and also her ideas were wildly over-applied.
Elsewhere a psychologist George Bonanno followed individuals who were bereaved over years and found that there were no evidence of stages. Being plunged into despair and then slow recovery turns out to be exaggeration It seems that sadness is a common response but deep debilitating anguish is an exception not a rule. Most people experience the heartache of losing someone but feel the loss in different ways. There are no rules to dealing with loss; we all do it differently. No stages just personal journeys