All forms of misfortune or mayhem that cause us grief–our response to loss–fall into one or more of these five categories: death, despair, disaster, disease, and dysfunction.
Before we can move into the healing phase, we must first recognize the source(s) of our conflict. Sometimes the cause is clear-cut, but quite often these themes overlap, and we discover that we are actually facing loss in several different forms. Acknowledging the presence of these other bereavements allows us to address the many nuances that form our suffering.

The 5 D’s.


Death is often perceived only as the expiration of some tangible, living entity such as a person, plant, or pet. Death, however, is the end of any abstract or tangible body. Therefore, termination of our dreams, hopes, expectations, and ideas, the end to anything as we currently know it, can also stimulate grief.


Despair is the emotion, feeling, and thought that there is no hope. It is the end of promise and want and desire, which fashions itself into failure, impossibility, and insecurity. Mental stress, distress, or illness in any of its forms is often the driving force behind Despair.


Disaster is defined as any destructive event that damages personal property, any circumstance that causes death, unhappiness, hardship, or serious loss. Disaster is attributed to both the personal and the natural.


Disease is any medical condition not caused by physical injury that produces pathological symptoms, or any disorder that creates specific signs of its presence within the body of humans, plants, and animals.


Dysfunction is defined as the impaired or abnormal functioning of something, as in an organ. It also means the presence of poor/unhealthy/abnormal attitudes, behaviors, and/or interactions existing within a group of people.