Thursday, October 4, 2012
Dreams, Grief and Mourning
The psychological literature has noted 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (Kubler-Ross, 1969). Mourning is defined as the following four stages: Numbness, yearning, disorganization, and reorganization. Interestingly, when a person loses a loved one through death, in conjunction with the stages of grief and mourning are dreams of the deceased in various forms. For example, the deceased will appear as if they are alive and speak to the dreamer. The deceased can convey information such as forgiveness or advice. It appears that dreams of the deceased are a very important part of the human experience of grief and mourning. Joshua Black at Trent University is now examining the dreams of the bereaved to investigate further why these dreams occur and how they are important in the grief process. How might dreams of the deceased help people cope with their loss? How might these dreams help grief counselors deal with profound grief?