FOR THE COUNSELOR: While there has been some recent backlash against boxing children’s reactions to grief into rigid stages, the Kubler-Ross model of the five grief stages below were never meant to be a complete list of emotions, nor did anyone say they are always followed in this particular order.   What’s more, in my work with grieving students, I find that most of them are readily able and eager to point out the stage they are in when given the list below.

FOR THE STUDENT: Experiencing grief, or the sadness and pain we feel when we lose someone we love, is a normal human reaction.  It is also a process with many different stages.  You may or may not go through all the grief stages below in any particular order.  Read over these stages with your counselor and think about which stage you are in right now.  Discuss this stage with your counselor and make a collage using pictures (magazine cutouts work great!) to show the feelings you are experiencing.

DENIAL of the facts, info, or reality that the loved one is gone.  It is a defense.  For example: I feel numb and cannot believe this death happened.

ANGER at others, themselves, the situation causing/leading to death, or even with the person who died.  For example, I am so mad at God for letting this happen to my mother or I am so angry with myself that I didn’t make my Dad stay home with me that day he got in the accident.

BARGAINING to make a compromise to avoid or undo the death.  For example, I promise I’ll never yell at my sister again if no one else in my family dies OR I will always do my homework if “you” bring my granddad back to me.

DEPRESSION is the intense, prolonged sadness over losing someone and it is often the beginning of coming to terms with the death.  Sadness can take many different forms such as crying, becoming withdrawn, feeling anxious, etc.  For example, I miss my grandma so much that I don’t feel like doing anything and nothing is fun anymore.

ACCEPTANCE of the death and of the loved one having moved on.  In this stage, the student starts to resume their usual emotions and activities. For example, I miss my dog and think about him everyday, but I enjoy the other parts of my life now, too.

© 2013 Bilingual Learner, LLC. All Rights Reserved.                                                              

© 2013 Bilingual Learner, LLC. All Rights Reserved.