Stages of Grief - the 7th - Robin Chodak

Stages of Grief – the 7th

stages of grief

What exactly are the stages of grief?  

According to Kübler-Ross the stages of grief are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. These are not linear, and you move in and out of them at different times. They were initially created for those who were dying, not for those left behind.  David Kessler, who co-authored a book with Ross, came up with the 6th stage, “finding meaning.”  I have added a 7th one to the stages of grief that I have identified. It’s been very real to me and many of my clients, also to so many others around the world. It is something that is ongoing—you do it as long as you live.  Many spiritual people have done it throughout the ages without naming it. 

What exactly is the 7th stage of grief?

 It is one of the stages of grief that you can do for the rest of your life that does not keep you stuck. The other stages must be processed otherwise they certainly can keep you from moving forward with your life. For example if you don’t process and release your anger, it will do harm to your mental and eventually physical state.  It’s the same with denial, bargaining, and depression, those energies must not stay stuck in your body. The 7th stage It is to keep a connection or a continuing bond with your loved ones after they are gone. I would like to be the one to coin “continuing bond” as the 7th stage of grief because I say, “grief never really goes away; you learn to integrate the pain into your life.”   

How do you do it?

The continuing bond concept might seem strange to you, and you may wonder, how do you do it?   There are many ways that you can stay connected, and below are just a few. Do any that feel right for you.

  • Write letters to your deceased loved ones. 
  • Talk to the deceased. I often talk to Gerry and ask him to help me remember the golf tips he gave me.
  • Talk about the deceased to new friends or acquaintances that never knew him or her. They can learn about all of their wonderful qualities and your relationship with them. It can help someone understand you better.

Talking about your loved ones helps to keep them alive in your heart and mind.

  • Live your life in a way that would make your deceased proud. When I do something I think Steve or Gerry would be proud of, I make sure to tell them and it makes me feel good.
  • Keep something that belonged to them. You can’t keep everything, but one or two items that hold special meaning can be helpful.
  • Find something that your loved one liked to do, and try it out for yourself. You may discover you like it too!
  • Pay attention to signs from them. They can show up in many different ways, through numbers, animals, music, smells, etc.

Come up with yours!

Those are just a few suggestions, and you can come up with your own. Perhaps this doesn’t work for you, but if it can help ease your pain and help you to feel connected to your deceased loved one, why not give it a try?  I believe that the energy of your loved one always exists. Science also states that energy never dies, it is only transformed.

Living the 7th stage of grief will help you on your journey as you navigate your life without your loved one. Perhaps it seems woo-woo to you, but I ask that you don’t judge the process. Give it a try for yourself and watch what happens. It’s important to be open minded. Look for signs from your loved with an open heart and mind. Begin to ask them for signs and then watch and listen for them.  This will be the beginning of how to keep the bond with them. When you do this you will be incorporating the 7th stage of grief into your life.

In conclusion, If you like this post, read my book in which it was written, “Ten Grief Lessons from Golf”



Love and Light,

Robin Chodak

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Grief, A New Way of Thinking

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Ten Grief Lessons from Golf

3 Must Have Connections for Inner Peace

Be Gentle with Me, I’m Grieving

Moving to Excellence, A Pathway to Transformation after Grief

Certified Life Coach, Certified Spiritual Coach, Master NLP, Reiki Practitioner, Mindfulness Meditation teacher

Contact me if you need a little coaching nudge on your journey!

P.S.  If you are ready to get certified as a grief coach fill out this application here:



I am a woman on a journey of recovery after the suicide of my husband in 2005. It has been a long voyage, but I was able to create a new identity and find happiness again after much hard work. I hope that I can help you along this path, too.

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