You know, the Kübler-Ross proposition about the 5 stages of grief can seem like the biggest load of bullshit when you actually go through them. It is not until you're far into the healing process that you can actually identify with them. I'm not proclaiming to know everything there is about grieving nor do I know exactly the steps to make things seem easier, what I can say is that what worked for me seems to be what works for a lot of people. How do we deal with losing a person that may have been such an influence for us? I want to share with you what seems to help in your process.
First, for those that don't know the 5 stages of grief, I want to cover those with you:
1. Denial - Yes this one is pretty much the first response in every loss we encounter. We have this overwhelming sense of disbelief. We cannot process what has happened and our mind and heart refuse to believe it.
2. Anger - I can tell you that ANGER played such a large part in my own personal healing process because I took all the anger I had and focused it on working towards a goal. There are reasons our selfish minds get angry. We are pissed that we lost the one we love. We are pissed that God took them when we WERE NOT ready!
3. Bargaining - I remember vividly telling God that if He would just give me my mom back, He could easily take me. She was too good of a person to be taken from this world.
4. Depression - While this form can be different for each person this is also a dangerous stage. Unless we can grab a hold of ourselves we can sink deep into depression and end up causing more loss and pain to our loved ones.
5. Acceptance - This is when we finally realize that nothing we can do can bring back our loved one. We accept what is and what will be.
Yes, there are 5 stages and while it's not necessary to experience them in order or for a certain amount of time, it IS required that we go through them in order to grieve healthy and heal.
So remember how I said that this all seems like a LOAD OF BULLSHIT? Trust me, it does. One day when you look back though, you will acknowledge the steps you went through and the journey that led you where you are.
So how do we travel on this journey and do it in a healthy way?
You're going to cry on days when you want to cry and you're going to laugh on days when you want to laugh. That's ok. This is your journey. Your path is yours completely to navigate as you choose. I can say that surrounding yourself with friends and family is always a good decision. It's during the alone times that your mind wanders and you end up down a rabbit hole that is more difficult to escape than some potion that says "drink me". Thanks Alice for giving us that unrealistic expectation.
Anyway, nobody can tell you how you are going to act. Nobody can tell you to "get over it" or "you gotta get back to normal"... if they do, tell them to shove it up their rear end and remove them from your life. You do NOT need them or their entitled view in your world right now. These people have no idea what YOU are going through, even if they have experienced loss, we all have our own response.
Avoid the alcohol and drugs. Yes, it may seem like a no brainer for this one but trust me, I have seen some of the best people ruin themselves by turning to these unhealthy outlets to express their grief. Heck, it seems super easy just to drink away the pain or maybe light up a big fat one and NUMB yourself. This isn't how you face reality though. You have to understand that this process could take months to years and you must be in control at all times.
Do and Don't lists are everywhere which is why I said that I am not some ALL KNOWING blogger with the answers to everything. What I do have to say is...
DO talk to somebody. Maybe talking to a teacher or a close friend or maybe even a family member can help you understand your thoughts during this time. You may not be looking for an answer but just getting your own thoughts out in the open can seriously rid your conscious mind of the unbearable weight this process can carry.
If you believe in God, which I am sure most of my readers do, talk with Him. Tell Him your fears and your hopes. Tell Him that you need help. Your relationship with Him will carry you through this much further than you can walk alone. If you do not believe in Him, I would love to share you with you my story of how I felt His presence and how He helped me.
ALWAYS keep in mind that you will get better. You WILL heal. You WILL persevere. You won't realize it at first but I promise, the days will get better and your life will get back to happy. It is going to be one HECK of a ride though. Just always keep in mind that the person you LOST would not want you to wallow in self pity. They would want you to recognize their loss and keep moving forward. Do not get stuck in the depths of despair.
Have you lost somebody who meant the world to you? I would love to talk with you and be your sounding board.
-A Gypsy Soul
-- To the ones who have recently lost somebody, know that we are praying for you. We pray for peace and for guidance through the journey you are about to embark on. We pray for healing and for God's grace to wash upon you.--