In one way, the previous life together is lost forever. With loss, comes some sadness and grief for which there are predictable stages. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Ph.D. found that all loss includes the following:
- Denial – examples include thoughts like “Life will get back to normal” or “Things will be like they used to be”.
- Anger – awareness that tells you things are different. Examples include “what is the matter with “you”, snap out of it and get back to normal”.
- Bargaining or Dialogue – this happens when you see that things are changing and you say to yourself, “if I change this, then he/she will be better” or “if I had only done this, then things would be different”
- Depression – the deep sadness that you have lost something very important and the hurt that comes with it.
- Acceptance – final awareness that things have changed and that you have the wonderful opportunity to learn to live with the change.
The feelings associated with these stages of loss do not come in any order or degree, but they all come in one way or another.
Understanding that these are normal, healthy stages – even though they feel uncomfortable is sometimes helpful and there is much information on grieving and loss that can help you through your situations.
Disclaimer: Veterans’ Families United Foundation does not guarantee results or outcome of the information provided in any of its materials.