Inspirations by Janet: Stained Glass Windows
By Janet Izzo
“People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” ~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1929-2004) Author of “On Death and Dying”
As a nursing student, I was required to read and study Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s famous work on death and dying. In fact, it is such an important and accepted work in the medical community that several questions regarding it were included on my state board exams. The five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) outline the process that all humans go through during grief, trauma or difficult changes in their lives.
Her work was first published in 1969 and was recognized as ground breaking. For the first time in history, it explained how “life goes on” or why “time heals.” It recognized the fact that people must experience their own individual journey with grief.
For some, the five stages are very concise and methodical, while others may move forward a step and then back one or two. Also, not every person experiences every stage. It is even possible for some people to linger in one stage for a long period of time. Grief is personal, and it is different for every person.
So why is it important to know and understand the five stages of grief? Perhaps it may help us to understand various emotions during a crisis. Or, as we sparkle and shine when our own sun is out, we may have the opportunity to help others understand their feelings if and when “darkness” sets in around them. After all, knowledge is power and light, is it not?
About the Author
Janet Izzo is a registered nurse in the state of Minnesota and a member of the Minnesota Nurses Association. She is an inspirational speaker and author of “Hotel Hennepin,” which chronicles her experiences working in a large county hospital in the heart of Minneapolis. The stories Janet relates in “Hotel Hennepin” are poignant, sad and hysterically funny, but all are amazingly true! She is passionate about the nursing profession, and she now speaks to nurses and nursing students across the nation on the topic “Nurses Can Make the Difference.”