After I wrote my post last night about Erasing the Invisible I felt ashamed. Upset with myself for not being like others who are more tough-skinned than me. I didn’t sleep well at all. In fact I was awake and couldn’t fall back asleep at 4am, so I got up, grabbed a cup of coffee and jumped online.
I read with great intent the answers that I received in my comment section about my latest post. The answers were right there in front of me. I just couldn’t see them because I am the one in the middle surrounded by fog.
I am not saying that I am 100% healed, but I did see the fog lift. I understood my pain and the reason for it. All of us most likely go through doubting periods in our lives. It only becomes serious if we don’t work through it, understand it, and become glued in our spot.
Why didn’t I think of it myself? Who knows and what really matters is that I see the light now, thanks to my blogger friends. I feel like I had my very own private session with a therapist without having to sit face to face spilling my guts.
I guess I really never understood grief and how it works. How can one word be so big in emotions. I decided to look up what grief really stands for and this is what I found.
Here is the grief model we call the 7 Stages of Grief:
- SHOCK & DENIAL-
You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.
- PAIN & GUILT-
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.
You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn’t do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.
- ANGER & BARGAINING-
Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.
You may rail against fate, questioning “Why me?” You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair (“I will never drink again if you just bring him back”)
- “DEPRESSION”, REFLECTION, LONELINESS-
Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be “talked out of it” by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.
During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.
More 7 stages of grief…
- THE UPWARD TURN-
As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your “depression” begins to lift slightly.
- RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.
- ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-
During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.
You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.
I recognized myself very clear in this list. I am at number 4. I can remember quite well going through number 1, 2 and 3. This seems to be the hardest part I am at right now. I now understand why I get panicky when I leave my house. I get it why I prefer to stay home.
I also know that this is not good for me and for this I am grateful that i still have my senses about me. I didn’t even see that the evil one from below is also having a hay-day with my feelings. He has been taking advantage of me while I have been down and out.
I used to tell myself that I knew my move was a good one because I had prayed and recognized the quick sale of my home and being able to find a new home had to be of God’s doing. Now I know for sure that God knows me so well.
I have to leave here. I do look in the past too much. I do worry about what my family thinks of me and I hate hurting anyone’s feelings, but God knows even more. He knew in order for me to pick myself up and move forward so that he could continue to use me for his will, I needed to move not only away from this home, but also away from the death that lingers inside these walls.
By moving away from seeing Hospice here, the funeral home people coming to get Al, I will now be able to replace those terrible feelings with new visions, new memories and I will be stronger once again.
What this will do for me in the end is move me through the numbers 5, 6, and 7 gaining more strength and able to recognize how Satan works so easily throughout our bad times. I learned a lot through writing that post and for the friends who commented, I say thank-you. Please accept these beautiful flowers as my appreciation gift for what you have shown me.