Posted by: Judy | March 26, 2014

Dealing with grief…

… from the perspective being a reasonably healthy person.

I’ve made it through some upheaval over the last few months. Reading Dee Henderson’s The Healer in her O’Malley Christian Suspense romance series, she tackled the grief process when I was ready to face it. God’s good like that: Giving what I need, when I need it. It’s the the stuff I don’t think about and often not what I think it should be, but I digress.

Emotional Roller Coaster: Check. Definitely had that.

*Denial

*Anger

*Despair

*Acceptance

I don’t think I’ve see them in that order. I’ve usually seen seven steps. Four is easier to track. I recognize all of these from the last few months.

Then she offered the next step, the one I needed:

What could I have done to change what happened?

It’s easy to end up stuck in the loop that question creates. I was stuck.

I’ve finally come to the conclusion I can’t change what happened. To make things better, I was expected to be someone I’m not.

I think I’m ready to move on.


Responses

  1. God bless you, Judy. Dealing with grief is ongoing. You left out bargaining. I think it comes after anger and before despair. But you can take these steps in any order.

    • Funnily enough, bargaining wasn’t included in Dee’s book, and I realized I don’t spend much time in that one. I learned long ago bargaining doesn’t work. I hadn’t realized until you mentioned it. It’s good to know. Thank you ((Beth))

      • Sure. And bargaining is one I’ve dwelt on.

  2. Sorry to hear that you’re struggling with grief. It can become a repetitive cycle of several of the different stages, and they don’t seem to necessarily come in a particular order. For me, I would often get stuck in Bargaining before cycling back to Denial or Despair, or then to Anger and Despair. Even when I thought I had finally reached Acceptance, I would still find myself back at Bargaining, or Denial, all over again.

    I’m speaking in terms of my mom’s death, and after almost five years now, I’ve finally gotten to that Acceptance part of the equation, but truthfully, there is still some residual Anger that surfaces every now and then. Thankfully, I’ve finally been able to release the Bargaining and Denial, and most of the Despair. The Anger is about me wanting her death to have been easier, but obviously, there’s nothing I can do to change how it all played out.

    Well, other than how I react to how it all played out. That’s the only thing I can change at this point. Allowing my Anger to surface over and over again doesn’t change anything about how it all happened. All that does is get me trapped in Anger, and even I know that’s not a healthy place to be.

    Anyway, I’m sorry you are struggling, and I’m glad you’re writing about it. It sounds like recognizing that you couldn’t have changed what happened (or who you were when it happened) has helped you move forward. We sometimes get tangled up in trying to understand, so I’m happy for you if reaching that point of knowing you couldn’t have done anything differently has helped you move forward. Just keep hanging in there, and tomorrow will be a little bit better than it was today.

    • It took me over five years to come to terms with my horses death, and I’m not entirely into acceptance with my dog’s, which was eight years ago. Thanks for the compassionate understanding ((ntexas99))

  3. This is a good reminder that we all go through similar stages and feelings. And that some stages can take years of slow transformations, like acceptance. I struggle with acceptance and get stuck on how it could have been different, what else I should have done, and fear making it happen again, somewhat delusionally at times. I can go back to thinking everything is my fault so easily, and blame does not equal acceptance, as least for me.

    • “I can go back to thinking everything is my fault so easily, and blame does not equal acceptance, as least for me.”

      Good point. I easily slip into blaming myself, too. Acceptance is about letting go of blame, I think.

  4. It is easy to stuck in a stage. I remember when you shared that video of getting stuck in one of these stages. You’ve moved through them and that is wonderful progress. Here’s to getting unstuck. xx

    • Thanks ((TR))


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