t least part of our identity is defined by
doing the things that make us feel good
about ourselves. For some that may mean
being the family breadwinner or the glue
that holds the family together. For others,
it may mean expressing their creativity,
nurturing social relationships or making a
difference in their community. Often, however, stroke
changes a survivor’s ability to do those things, and
the loss of what you personally, dearly valued in
yourself can be very challenging.
Psychologist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross conceived of
the stages of dying in her 1969 book On Death and
Dying. She and David Kessler later adapted these
to grief in their 2005 book On Grief and Grieving.
Survivor Rachel Scanlon Henry, who came across the
stages model years after her stroke, wonders if her
own processes of dealing with her stroke might have
been better supported if she’d been conscious of the
stages as she experienced them.
Neuropsychologist Monique Tremaine and
psychologist Barry Jacobs have theories on the value
of the model for recovering survivors.
But before we hear from our experts, survivor
Rachel Scanlon Henry of Worcester, Massachusetts,
shares her perspective.
BY JON CASWELL WITH CONTRIBUTION
BY SURVIVOR RACHEL SCANLON HENRY