The Five Stages of Data Loss Grief

Back in 1970, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross wrote On Death and Dying, a now-classic book that identified five stages of grieving and emotions that terminally ill patients go through. Adam Frucci has adapted that to the five stages of data loss grief:

So your hard drive just died, and you didn’t back it up. I’m so, so sorry. You can expect to go through the following five stages once you discover that all of your photos, files and music are gone forever.

Stage One: Denial

“No. No, there’s no way. This is probably just a software issue, maybe if I try rebooting again it’ll work. I’ve only had this hard drive for two years, there’s no way it just died. I’ll get all that stuff back. This silly computer always freaks out but is fine after a reboot. Even though I’ve tried rebooting five times and it sounds like a fork is suck in a garbage disposal in there, it’s probably just the CD drive.”

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