Stage 5 – Depression

Depression “Everything is useless now, why bother with anything? Why go on living?”

Depression is a major challenge but part of the Stages of Grief

This Stage focuses on a deep sense of loss, which is felt in varying degrees from person to person. Depression replaces the anger and the attempts at bargaining. With it comes a forlorn thought of the future, for some a feeling of guilt, or shame of not doing the things that matter, failure and regret.

A word to Caregivers, Kübler-Ross does not advise to try to cheer up or calm the individual steeped in depression. It is not worth trying to encourage feelings with “all will be well.” Feelings of depression are an important part of the emotional process.  Depression facilitates progress towards acceptance, planning and peace. Despite the hardship of this stage, it is necessary to support the person with compassion and understanding.

My wife and friends were both compassionate and supportive.  No one belittled my depression, which I am sure for those that knew me was evident, or maybe not.  Remember, we were in COVID-19 lockdown, so contact with others was on Zoom cocktail parties, which my wife skillfully arranged.

Depression is an import part of the grief process.  As a Stephen Minister they trained me to recognize that it is a meaningful part of the process, although it takes on a new meaning when it is about you.  Faced with a loss of the life I thought I had, it’s not unusual to experience depression.

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