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"Change is inevitable. Change is constant." Benjamin Disraeli said this. Change that is unexpected or unwelcomed can be particularly difficult to take. Even when we anticipate change, some changes are so profoundly unsettling or foreign to evertthing we have known that feelings of grief emerge.

Grief can be present even when nobody has died. People feel personal grief when a part of their life has changes and is unrecoverable. Examples of this would be when dear friends move away, when a marriage ends in divorce, with the diagnosis of a birth defect in a newborn, or the revelation of a chronic disease. One can even grieve for lost opportunities or the "death" of dreams or aspirations.

The Five States of grief, so eloquently detailed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying, are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Recovery from loss, whether it results from death of a loved one or metaphorical death due to change, should naturally progress through the Stages of Grief over time. Being "stuck" in a particular stage of grief following loss due to change can be difficult for the person who feels stuck and for family members who have difficulty understanding why the person suffering does not just "adapt".

Today I will acknowledge change that has created my "new normal". I will allow myself to grieve what is gone for a time, and then will strive to move forward toward accepting the difficult change in my life.

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