Differentiate Kubler-Ross' stages of death and dying.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Dr. Kubler- Ross' findings might be seen as almost cliched today because she literally pried the door open on how people perceive death.  Her work is very consistent with the approach towards taboo subjects in the 1970s, where therapy became so prevalent in the social order.  The study of how people approach death is profound and has become such a part of medical and psychological thought about death that the cliched element might be present.  The stages she identifies are seen as parallel to those particular therapeutic approaches to any problem.  The first stage is denial, where the individual negates the initial proposition of death.  This is the first stage because it is the first moment where the individual is made aware that their life is ending.  A deeper recognition of denial is anger, when the individual feels that there has been an injustice in their selection to have to face death.  From the overall position of negation, the subject has personalized this experience in asking why they have been chosen to receive this fate.  The stage of bargaining is one where some level of acceptance is evident, but that the individual is seeking to make an arrangement, thinking that death is something that can be alleviated and visited on someone else.  The grieving stage is the first time where the individual recognizes that there is no escape, and that all their attempts are futile.  It is also a preparatory stage towards acceptance, where some level of peace has been made and the individual is ready to embrace the reality of life in this world ending.  The stages might experience some vacillation with different people, but most agree that there is some replication to and with others in this configuration.

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