(adapted from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross)

5 STAGES                                                        Death and Dying                Healing a Memory


DENIAL I avoid facing the likelihood of my death.

I cannot face my mortality

I feel and act as though I am invincible.

I don’t admit I either am or ever was hurt.

I don’t face the reality of my unrealized dreams and illusions.

I see things like I want to see them, and not as they are.

ANGER I blame others for letting death hurt and destroy me.

I am filled with resentment and can’t forgive.

I blame others for hurting and destroying me.

Others are responsible for my pain. Anger and ‘shoulds’ are intrusive thoughts.

BARGAINING I set up conditions to be fulfilled before I’m ready to die.

If I do, then I can avoid reality and make things as I want to be.

I set up conditions to be fulfilled before I’m ready to forgive myself and others.

If I act in a certain way, perhaps I can get others to change their minds and behaviors.


DEPRESSION I blame myself for letting death take over.

I failed in my life-I didn’t accomplish what I hoped.

I have regrets about how my life path progressed.

I blame myself for letting hurt destroy me.

I failed and am powerless, helpless, despondent.

Hopelessness, regret, despondency are intrusive thoughts.


ACCEPTANCE I’m ready to die.

I’ve made peace with others and myself.

I have come to terms with my mortality.

I look forward to growth from hurt and change.

I can accept and forgive myself and others.

I can let go of impossible dreams, illusions, & ‘shoulds’.




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