Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Mother's Grief: Burying Her Child

Burying a child: A mother's unending grief

By Sanjay Gupta, M.D., Chief Medical Correspondent
August 11, 2011 10:37 a.m. EDT

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Ways to Think About Grief

By Ruth Davis Konigsberg
Time Magazine US

The five stages of grief are so deeply embedded in our culture that they've become virtually inescapable. Every time we experience loss — whether personal or national — we hear them recited: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. They're invoked to explain our emotional reaction to everything from the death of a loved one to the destruction of the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill to LeBron James' abandoning the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.

The stages have become axiomatic, divorced from the time and place of their origin. If you were to read Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's On Death and Dying — the book that in 1969 gave the five stages their debut — for the first time today, you might be surprised to discover that Kübler-Ross, then a staff psychiatrist at Billings Hospital in Chicago, was actually writing about the experience of facing one's own death, not the death of someone else. It was other practitioners, having found the stages so irresistibly prescriptive, who began applying them to grief, a repurposing that Kübler-Ross encouraged. After all, there was no specific data set to contradict, no research protocols to follow: Kübler-Ross had based her theory on onetime interviews she had conducted with terminally ill patients, but she never asked them specific questions about the stages, because by her own account, she only conceived of them while up late at night after she had already been commissioned to write On Death and Dying.

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