Decades ago, medical professionals identified the death of a loved one as one of the most stressful life events for humans. Although people mourn loss in different ways, many behavioral experts believe there are universal stages of grief. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross first proposed five stages of grief in her 1969 book, “On Death and Dying.” Mental health professionals use these to evaluate, identify, and explain the grief process.
Mourning and grief are responses that can occur with any significant life event. It could be the death of a loved one, an end to a relationship, the loss of a job or way of life, or any occurrence that leads to intense emotional trauma. Individuals react differently to loss, and most people recover on their own as time passes. The period of grief can last weeks, months, or years.
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