My Stages of Grief

July 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Posted in unemployed | 4 Comments
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I think one reason I’m writing this post is to help myself get through one of the stages of grief, Anger, the “why is this happening to me?” stage.

While I was in college, I took a course called Death and Dying.  Our textbook was Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s book, “On Death and Dying“.  Her model/stages are now used for all types of losses, not just death, from divorce to infertility to disasters.

My loss includes the loss of a regular commute, the feeling of doing something good and worthwhile, a lack of a paycheck, and perhaps most importantly, my reputation and the respect that comes with good dependable work.

That course I took was a long time ago, but it really struck me and now I recognize how it relates to being unemployed because of being fired.  I think a large part of my anger is probably stemming from frustration.  Once I was fired, the state determined I was “terminated without misconduct” and could receive Unemployment Compensation.  In my state employment is “at will”, so there’s nothing I can do about it.

In her model, Kübler-Ross has Anger as the second stage and Bargaining is after that.  In my mind, I bargained before the anger.  The American Psychological Association reports that’s common when the loss is one of a job.  How could I be treated with such contempt?  Why does it seem that no one defended me?  Why have all my co-workers, except one, deserted me?  In the type of job I had relationships were quickly formed because, it was what I call, “an in the trenches job”.  Emergencies and crisis were daily events, sometimes involving life or death situations.  You have to be a great team to be successful.

In my first work scenario post I mention my kudos folder.  This folder is helping me when I apply for jobs, but it also exacerbates my anger.  To expand on that folder, it has certificates of completion for in-house and outsourced training, e-mails from all levels of management from the CEO to Program Managers praising my work, and requests made only to me because I was the only assistant with the skills to complete the task.  Was all this hard work for naught?

After 4 months I am still asking these questions, I’m still angry and frustrated.  After this, I’m supposed to move onto Depression and finally Acceptance.  I can’t stop reading those e-mails, I need them sometimes on my job search.  There’s one co-worker who stays in touch, we were friends outside of work, I don’t want to stop seeing her and she’s still a reminder.

I’ve read two good articles about this:

The Five Stages of Grief Related to Unemployment

The Unemployment Crisis

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  1. I’m so sorry that you are going through this! It’s a tough economy for so many of us.

  2. I understand what you are going through. I have been unemployed for about 2 months now. It still is a shock to me like I will be able to wake up from a bad dream. Just try and keep a positive attitude daily and it will get better. I am using this time to update my skill set to new technologies and do personal projects. Good luck in your search.

  3. Waking up from a bad dream is an excellent way to put it. I’m doing my best to keep a positive attitude and share it here. That’s why I was so glad that my friend shared her mom’s advice with me. Right now I’m sharpening my skill sets by taking courses through Career Builder Institute. and it is nice to be able to do errands and chores whenever the need pops up. Good luck to you too.

  4. […] My Stages of Grief ( […]

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