The process of grieving can be compared to how a pinball machine works where the mourner’s move between the different stages of grief like shock and depression may be unpredictable.
According to Margaret Baier of Baylor University, Waco, Texas and Ruth Buechsel of Brook Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antionio, Texas, they are not trying to suggest that grief is a game or downplay the experience. It is a metaphor that could help people understand that grieving is not a linear process.
As on a pinball machine, there are triggers that could prolong or restart the process. It could be the anniversary of a death or a special even they used to share with their loved one. This model can be used in therapy by healthcare professionals to help in making people understand that their responses are normal.
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