Elisabeth Kubler-Ross outlined the stages of dying as denial, anger, bargaining, anticipatory grief and acceptance, according to Barry Greenwald at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Not everybody goes through all the stages and the order may be different for some patients, notes the University of Kentucky.
The denial stage is a coping mechanism for people who have been told of their impending death, notes the University of Illinois at Chicago. Patients in this stage may seek several opinions from different doctors.
The anger stage is directed towards doctors, nurses, friends and family members, states the University of Kentucky. The dying patient is angry at anyone who is healthy or who is taking life for granted, explains the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In the bargaining stage, the patient begins to slowly accept their fate, states the University of Illinois at Chicago. They start striking terms in order to accept it. They make bargains with doctors, caretakers and God in an effort to buy more time.
The anticipatory grief stage is a period of very real depression, according to the University of Chicago at Illinois. The patient begins to mourn past and future losses, states the University of Kentucky. The patient withdraws socially and they spend a lot of moments in silence.
The final stage is acceptance or resignation, states the University of Illinois at Chicago. The patient realizes that death is inevitable. They come to terms with death as a natural part of their life cycle.