Grief is a process – not one emotion Part 2

I had heard of the grief process many years ago but never really looked into it. How many of you know about the grief process? How many of you have never heard of it?

I found some great resources on www.grief.com. Some people mention 7 steps while others 5.

  • SHOCK & DENIAL
  • PAIN & GUILT
  • ANGER & BARGAINING
  • DEPRESSION -REFLECTION, LONELINESS
  • BARGAINING
  • ACCEPTANCE & HOPE

I have realised that I am great at being there for someone else through every stage of the grief process but man I suck at doing it for myself. Here’s my chance to learn one of those repeating lessons in my life and finally conquer it!

The passing of anyone still comes as a shock even if their prognosis was made a year earlier. You can do your best to prepare but that feeling of loss is still the same. Now please take note if someone tells you that their loved one has died, don’t ask was this sudden or unexpected as to make the passing less tragic for a person that had been battling some disease for a period of time. If one more person would have asked that question I would have lost it. Instead the “I’m sorry for your loss” or “how are you doing” or “is there anything I can do for you right now to assist you in any way” would be much more comforting.

For me, there was no denial. I knew Dad was going and was surprised he made it for as long as he did. His fight for life was extraordinary and he left the tank empty when he departed.

The pain and the guilt came as I could not be there when he passed even though I knew we had said our goodbyes. Nothing left unsaid, no questions unanswered. We took comfort in the fact that our bond will remain and that we love and understand each other.

So really, the first 2 phases have been text book. But anger, that’s where I have come unstuck. I think this is where I have always struggled, not fully resolving my anger and bypassing to the next stage.

I started to feel angry at my Dad and I knew I had to dig deep. I feel really blessed to have had 2 Dads growing up. My biological Dad who I would spend most weekends with up to about the age of 10 and then my Stepfather who raised me from the age of 2. Two amazing men who taught and loved me so much. So why was I angry? I was Daddy’s little girl and when he remarried and the 4th child came along who was a girl, all of a sudden contact started to slow, visits were few and far between until there was a loss of contact for a period of a year or so. As a result, I have this belief that I can only ever love one child as this was how I felt growing up. I felt like he couldn’t love me anymore as he had a new daughter. Now I have never really looked into this or wondered why I feel the way I do but I guess this caused me deep pain (still no tears). Then all I feel is compassion for Dad. I understand the relationship he was in, he was likely depressed, the lymphoma would have been present but he ignored it for a long time and his wife probably had something to do with him not seeing his other kids. Now no anger, but I still don’t feel the release.

And by the way, I tried throwing stones as hard as I can, another failed attempt at releasing anger.

Maybe I’m angry at myself, but what for?

I have started to meditate consistently even if it is for 12 minutes a day. My body was caught in the stress response previously and I’m determined not to go back there.

Maybe this is just a prompt to address all my losses and see what comes up and what stages I bypassed?

Sometimes Anger fuels a fire, maybe that’s my passion. Maybe my anger will fuel my passion to put myself out there again. Since my last event in April, I have pulled back on my practice and cancelled an event to regain my balance. I don’t believe in giving my energy to people when I am not in the best possible space myself. It’s hard to get back on the horse. You start questioning everything you do, what direction you are going in. I’m getting there……slowly, very slowly. I am blessed with an amazing husband who has supported me through everything. My rock, my warrior.

I am thankful that I have this opportunity to really grieve and work through my pain. A recent knee injury is forcing me to take a break from work and limits my exercise and movement. The universes way of getting me to be still, both mind and body:)