When Doves Cry: Coping with Sudden Death

When Doves Cry is the title of one of Prince’s most popular songs. Some believe that the lyrics of the song were embedded in his “fear of becoming like his parents.” I am going to use this song differently in this post. I am going to use to to flirt with the concept of  “Sudden Death.”  Death can be sudden. Death can be earth-shattering. Death can take your breath away.  This is what happened to many of us with the deaths of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and yesterday Prince. What do you do when this happens? First, take a deep breath and exhale. Death is final. There is nothing that any human can do. After you accept reality, then you can move-on.

I will us this post to discuss the Kubler-Ross model of death and grief. We clinicians call is DABDA.


This is the model that is used in most clinical settings. I will give you a brief explanation for each stage.

  1. Denial- This is usually the shock and first reaction. We need to confirm the death in our unconscious. When there has been a long sickness, this stage is not as long.
  2. Anger-It is appropriate to be angry with the oneself or the person who has expired? This is a protest of the unconscious.
  3. Bargaining-Sometimes, we approach this stage to see if we could, if possible prolong the life of the deceased. It doesn’t work.
  4. Depression-This usually occurs once we accept the “finality of death.” It can seem so final, bleak and dismal unless you believe in a secondary life.
  5. Acceptance-This is when you have to realize that you much move-on and accept this new change

When Doves Cry usually depicts how we feel after the loss of a loved one. However, if we move through each of the stages-Life can continue to progress.

If your or someone else you may know that is in need of grief or bereavment counseling feel free to contact Behavioral Health Link at 404-420-3202 or visit their website at http://www.bhlhome.com


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