Mastering Grief

I was talking to someone whose child died less than a year ago, and it got me thinking about the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition as it might relate to the five stages of grief.  The thing is, I believe the Dreyfus model is already a passage through the Neuro Cognitive Domains, and I think the stage of grief are as well.  (This problem also occurred to me relative to Benner’s model, when I learned she applies the Novice to Master model across several areas of nursing competency).

What would make sense (to my mind) is a dimensional progression that cuts across the domains.  I adapted this model from a blog by Dr. Peter Attia about back pain.  Where I say stressed, he said incorrect, and where I say robust, he said correct.

Mastering Grief-1(click to enlarge)

I have filled in dates from my own process.  I think I only fully accepted my son’s death when he would have been about 15, and I imagined only a few years from moving out on his own.  Death is more absence than that, but I realized that departure is what you should want for your children eventually.

Bargaining is an interesting one to consider.  When my next child was born, I knew that I now felt better in some respect, but I knew that I shouldn’t, really.  And then a couple of months later, I really forgave God, and at the time I would have said I was done with bargaining.  Yet when our next child was born, I really really just didn’t even think about Bargaining anymore.  There comes a time when it no longer takes an effort to feel alright.

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