The 5 Stages of Grief (And what No One Tells You!)-Part 1
The Five Stages of Grief are commonly referred to and utilized by therapists to assist client’s in understanding some of the more basic aspects of what they’re feeling. They were postulated by Elizabeth Kubler Ross are as follows:
However, we know that life is not an emotional checklist and these are not set in stone. What we do know is that, one day, you’re at peace with your loss, you feel like you’ve accepted it and can, thereby, move on. But the next day, you’re resenting that person so badly and you’re angry with yourself, with them, with God (don’t worry, He can handle us being angry with Him). So why “Stages”? Why not, “this is what you’ll feel like for the rest of your life”?
A newer approach, can be found here: https://www.medicinenet.com/loss_grief_and_bereavement/article.htm, listing 7 stages of grief that include shock and guilt.
Let me just put this out there. These are ways to put into simplistic terms the complicated feelings that we have. I’ve been to more funerals than weddings. Spent more time in hospitals with the sick and dying than visiting the newly born. I’ve lost friends in school, family (I went to my first funeral when I was 8), and my Dad, when I was 20. I want to deny that I felt instant relief, he’d been in a coma and sick for so long, but, at 57, he was still so young. And so was I. During the memorial, which he didn’t want, but we NEEDED, I was shoved between my sobbing sister and mother with whom he’d been divorced for 4 years. I remember reaching around my Mother for my Brother’s hand, just as I had done at a life-changing funeral of a mutual friend in high school who had committed suicide.
I held it together. I did great. I directed my family to assist in cleaning up. I wrote the check. I had my boyfriend at that time load up the car with momentum’s, guest book, flowers, programs, etc, so I’m ready to leave and the funeral director comes to stop me. He hands me my Father in a box. Just a fucking box for an entire life lived.
So, it’s no surprise that this post comes close to a Holiday meant to celebrate some people who, either don’t exist in physical fashion any longer or decided never to be Father’s in the first place. Hang in there, that “time heals all wounds” saying is bullshit, but it does lessen the days when you feel like you’re guts are being pulled out and that burning, empty ache.