Dabda - The Stages Of Death And Dying

In every movie with a genre of sad drama we always watch, we anticipate the fact that whenever one of the character’s closest friend/relatives or say the character himself suffers from a terrible condition like cancer, the expected emotional reaction brings that character to deny all that he suffers until he/she will accept it in the end.
DABDA - The stages of death and dying
Source - https://pixabay.com/en/cry-tears-drop-grieve-sad-shock-1316458/

This is an inescapable part of the story because in real life situation, these can be considered a normal grieving process and it is really the psychological and emotional stages of a dying person. Not only a dying person but also those relatives affected. 

How will you grieve if you are deeply hurt by what you see in your relative suffering from a terrible disease? Would you try denying the situation until you see it’s over? Will you question a God for your destiny?

The answer could perhaps be found in a theory that we can realize it maybe a reality in


DABDA is actually an acronym showcasing the five stages of death and dying. These are 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance. These stages are given recognition with the theory of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

Take a glance at each of the stage’s discussion:


The person having been informed with a sad and shocking news enters the first the stage of denying and rejecting the disseminated details.
e.g. A person diagnosed of cancer and was confirmed by his doctor would reject the diagnosis and thinks this is only a lie.


After surpassing the first stage, the person will then start to accept his/her uncomfortable situation but this is the stage when he/she feels hatred to anyone who had caused the tragic event. He/she may even blame a spiritual deity whom he/she believes or himself/herself. This stage covers the anger phase according to the author.
e.g. A wife whose husband died at a vehicle accident may eventually blame, doubt and hate her god with the event.


Feelings of anger, fault-finding, and hatred may start to subside in this stage. The acceptance of the situation is rising but this becomes conditional.  The person affected may wish for something he/she wants to do before accepting it.
e.g. A patient who is in the intensive care unit and has 50-50 chance of survival would pray to the Lord about his chance to let him see his daughter graduate before he



The peak of acceptance about the situation may have been reached but the feelings of the person is withdrawn. At this stage, comfort and strong encouragement from caregivers and family members shall be present

to fight feelings of depression.
e.g. A dying patient in a nursing home might refuse to eat his/her meal because of thoughts that he will die anyway.


This is the final stage when the person totally accepts his/her situation. It is usually caused by the feelings of self-worth and achievements before he/she dies.
e.g. Feelings of happiness to an elderly dying patient who just made conversations to all family members. He/she may think of this as his/her achievement and thus accepts death.   


This may sound theoretical but not applicable to everyone. Grieving process may vary from an individual to the other based from culture, beliefs, faith etc.


A 48-year-old male patient, after the doctor confirmed that he has stage III Prostrate Cancer tells the nurse, “I know the doctor is just new in here. He doesn’t know what he is talking about.” Based from this statement, the nurse may infer that the patient might be at what stage of coping according to Kubler-Ross?

A. Denial

B. Anger

C. Bargaining

D. Depression

Answer: A- Based from the situation, the patient just received the bad news that he has cancer. His statement declares the first stage which is denial.


According to the Independent UK, a recent study had find out that there seems to be a battle between expectation and reality when people are dying. The research conducted by the University of Carolina revealed those who are in the dying stage are more positive than what most people are expecting. 

Article Written By goldstay

Gold stay is the username for Silver P. Comila, a nurse, a teacher and a licensed financial consultant whose one passion is writing and a contributor to this site. His niche is writing financial literacy and health-related articles. He's also one of those who desire to help every Filipino family achieve a sense of financial wellness. Drop him a message at silver_prof07@yahoo.com to learn more.

Last updated on 11-11-2017 2K 1

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