The five stages of mourning and grief are universal and are experienced by people from all walks of life. The five widely accepted stages are, in order: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
The mind processes grief very much the same way it processes the five stages of a career in Public Safety, only ass backwards! It doesn’t matter if you are a police officer, firefighter, EMT, dispatcher, soldier or correctional officer, the emotions experienced are universal, and need to be experienced to be fully understood. They go something like this.
“Wow, there’s a whole lot of nothing going on, and when something does happen it’s usually pretty un-dramatic. Where’s the excitement, the lights and sirens, the bells and whistles, the throngs of adoring people lavishing me with praise?”
5. Denial and isolation
Learning to cope is imperative, and understanding each of the five stages as they occur will help you navigate a difficult career. Remember, work your career one shift at a time, and enjoy each and every moment, because at the end of the day, and when all five stages are exhausted, it’s still the greatest gig in the world.