THEORIES OF GRIEF 1
Kubler-Ross theory argues that terminally ill persons go through fivestages in their grieving journey. The stages are denial, anger,bargaining, depression, and acceptance (Small,2011). While I believe that every individual goesthrough the states mentioned by Kubler-Ross in her theory at somepoint in their grieving journey, I do not think the stages arelinear. For instance, individuals may start by accepting theinescapable death, depending on their status. Take the example ofterminally ill persons who are sentenced to life imprisonment and whowould be glad to escape the reality of spending their entire lives inprison. Additionally, Kubler-Ross failed to consider the environmentin which a terminally ill person lives. For example, peoplesurrounded by positive experiences may never accept that death isinevitable. Additionally, some believers may get stuck at thebargaining stage by trying to repent their sins, hoping that God willhave a change of mind. As such, I think that individuals’ characterplays a huge role in determining how terminally ill persons reacts toan inescapable death.
Bowlby’s attachment theory holds that connections develop early inone’s life and provide security as well as survival for anindividual.It is only when the attachments are broken thatindividuals experience an emotional disturbance characterized byanger, crying, and anxiety(Brocklehurst, 2016). Bowlby provides four stages ofgrief which are numbness, yearning, disorganization, andreorganization. To me, Bowlby attachment theory shares severalsimilarities with Kubler-Ross theory concerning stages that grievingpersons go through. As such, it suffers similar shortcomings toKubler-Ross theory, such as the inability to consider the grievingpersons’ personality and identity when going through a situation ofthe loss of their loved ones. Besides, I feel that the theoryprescribes to the bereaved steps that they must follow while grievinginstead of allowing individuals to do what comes naturally to them.As such, individuals taking care of ailing people may hasten thespeed at which the latter go through the stages of grief.
Worden’s four tasks of mourning theory suggest that personsgrieving the loss of their loved ones must undertake four chores forequilibrium to be reestablishedin their lives (Falconer, et al., 2010). The firsttask is accepting the reality that a person they loved so dearly haspassed on. The second task is for the bereaved to work through theloss of their loved ones. Thirdly, the bereaved adjust to lifewithout the deceased. Lastly, the grieving individuals find a lastingconnection with the deceased as they embark on a new life. I thinkthat Worden’s theory best explains how to deal with the loss of aloved one. Unlike Bowlby and Kubler-Ross, Worden theory does notprescribe to the bereaved grieving stages that they must follow whiletheir grief. Instead, it allows individuals to go through the processof grieving at their own pace. Besides, Worden’s theoryacknowledges that there is no order when the bereaved is undertakingthe tasks. Additionally, individuals are free to revisit some of theactivities they feel they did not complete successfully. However, Idisagree with Worden’s contention that there is a possibility ofequilibrium being reestablished in the lives of the bereaved. Takethe example of a person who has lost a husband. It is impossible forsuch a window to completely execute the tasks previously completed byher deceased husband.
Brocklehurst,T. (2016). Read. An Introduction to theory relating to Bereavementand grief.” Accessed fromhttp://www.bereavement.co.uk/Media-Centre/?p=856
Falconer, K.,Gibson, K., Norman, H., & Sachsenweger, M. (2011). Grieving inthe Internet age. Accessed fromhttp://www.psychology.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/Falconer.pdf
Small, N.(2011). Theories of grief: a critical review. Deathand dying: A reader.Accessed fromhttps://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=fkioYG4vJvEC&oi=fnd&pg=PA153&dq=theories+of+grief+loss&ots=O8ZxBOupbo&sig=ZOpcfs45s82hFpMvGdaVgQhURO8&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=theories%20of%20grief%20loss&f=false