DABDA

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Saturday, March 8, 2014


COPING with dying is an unforgettable experience you and I will experience.

Hopefully, not in the near future, may it occur in the farthest timeline possible. You see, I love life too much. Yet I know death is the only destiny my material self will meet.

With this imminent scenario haunting my thoughts, I have researched for the last fifteen years on this subject matter – death and dying. Herein is my discovery.

The way in which an individual copes with death is personal, but there is an accepted model of coping with a terminal illness that many people follow -- DABDA. Developed by the late Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross -- a medical doctor, psychiatrist, and thanatologist -- DABDA is named for the "five stages of coping with death.”

DABDA is also used in our grieving process, particularly, when our loved one dies.

Dr. Kubler-Ross discovered this theory after attending to 20,000 cases of dying patients. She has named them as “DABDA” which is an acronym. These are the five stages of facing death - Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

Herein are the examples of words we utter when we encounter dying.

1. Denial “…this is not happening to me….I do not have cancer…”
2. Anger – “you are not a loving God…why, why did you allow leukemia to invade my cells…”
3. Bargaining… “dear Lord, just let me live… I beg you... I will become a saint…I will donate my money to charity…I will be more spiritual…”
4. Depression …” why me of all people… what a sorrowful experience this is …tears flood my cheeks…”
5. Acceptance- “Yes, Your will be done…I can let go of my body…I am ready to die…”

Yes! The issue of dying is a concern most of us decline to openly talk about. Yet the more we hide our faces from its grasp, the more likely we will be hurt when it happens. Or in reverse, the greater our grief is when we encounter the loss our relatives.

Whew! You and I do not know when the bells of death will ring for us. Or for our loved ones. Let us be ready.

In case of prolonged grief, ask a helping/counseling team for support. They are in Quezon City and their no. is 02 4360710.

Now, may I share with you the expert advice Dr. Betty Pena gave:

"From my view, when we talk about death and dying, it brings forth to us the importance of how we relate to the people we love. What matters most is this. Express your love while they are still alive. Show to them your care, appreciation and gratitude. People who are vital to you – your family and friends- are the affectionate persons who touch our lives."

Do forgive. Ask for forgiveness. Show your forgiveness to the people who have wronged you. Let go of emotional baggages. So that you are able to create forgiveness, harmony and trusting ties among your immediate circle of family and friends.

Time is short.

Reach me at malugueco@gmail.com

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 09, 2014.

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