The Stages of Grief: As Told by Kuebler-Ross and our Guest Speaker

According to Broderick (1998), “death was a subject less likely than sex to be found in most college curriculum, but the commitment to the subject varies from discipline to discipline” With that in mind, grief isn’t talked about either. (Huff, Weisenfluh, Murphy, & Black, 2008)


Anticipatory Grief

An interesting point made by our guest speaker, Sarah Hopkins, anticipatory grief is the anticipation of a loss. It is common to feel and anxiety and even dread as this stage occurs. It is a part of grief that might not be talked about in Kuebler and Ross’s stages of grief or by society in general, but it is very important in the process. (Guest Speaker, Sarah Hopkins)



One of the stages of grief is denial. Acting as a defense mechanism, denial is is just ignoring that the situation has occurred.  (lecture)



Often times following denial, anger will come about when it sets in for the person grieving. The anger can be pointed in many directions: at the person who died, at the person his/herself, friends, family, and even medical staff. (Lecture)



Bargaining, another stage of grief, is when people will try to gain control over the situation by fixating on the if only’s. Those look like “If we only spent more time with them” or “if we only were nicer towards them” (Lecture)



Often feeling intense sadness and sometimes numbness, this is one of the common well recognized stages of grief. It can be private or open and if felt too intensely, can be a detriment to the person. (Lecture)



Acceptance is the ability to withdraw from the other stages of grief and come to terms that the death has happened. This isn’t forgetting the person in memory, but for withdrawing from the grief and moving forward with everyday life (Lecture.)




Huff, M., Weisenfluh, S., Murphy, M., & Black, P. (2008). End-of-Life Care and Social Work Education. Journal Of Gerontological Social Work, 220.

Vassello, John. (2016). Social Work with Older Adults and with End of Life. Powerpoint.

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