Welcome to my series, Dealing with Grief. Incase you missed it here is While I’ve Been Gone, just to catch up on what has happened.
I feel like most people know the stages of grief, but incase you don’t they are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. To me they aren’t stages, they are more of a way of categorizing the way you are feeling. They could be all at once or it could just be a couple of them for a period of time.
Megan Devine explains it well-
“The stages of grief were not meant to tell you what you feel, what you should feel, and when exactly you should feel it. They were not meant to dictate whether you are doing your grief “correctly” or not. They were meant to normalize a deeply not-normal time. They were meant to give comfort. Ms. Ross’ work was meant as a kindness, not a cage.” The 5 Stages of Grief and Other Lies That Don’t Help Anyone
For me denial started at the hospital.
I knew what was happening but I didn’t want to accept it. I also bargained with God, I would tell him to take me instead. At one point I even joked (at the same time, not joking) about me purposefully going and getting in an accident just so I could be with him and then we could be in coma-land together.
I laid next to him as he took his last breath, it isn’t like what they show in the movies. The last breath is a loud gasp and then it’s over and there is peace. The days leading up to this point are chaotic, the world is spinning and it is hard to tell what is going on and if it is really happening. After he passed and was taken by the Medical Examiner for the autopsy, there was a sense of peace within me. That the fight was finally over, but little did I know about the giant of an emotional rollercoaster that was heading my way.
Anger, oh boy, anger.
I have never before in my life been so upset at something. I was a force to be reckoned with. Anything and everything just made me angry. It didn’t even have to be about him or anything to do with him. It was just this fight with me and the world. I would get so mad that I would have to get out of bed, even if it was just to get up to go to the bathroom. I would get mad at Harley for being too clingy, even though that is what I needed. I needed some company to let me know I wasn’t alone, but I just wanted to be left alone.
Bargaining wasn’t a big thing for me.
Other than at the hospital. I feel like for me, I knew there was nothing I could do so there was no point in bargaining after he passed. It was more of just getting used to him not being around and convincing myself that I needed to stay around. I know that sounds morbid, but I didn’t want to be here.
Some times I still feel depressed.
Depression is what it was through all of it. It wasn’t a stage, it was all of it. Nothing made me happy. Even the things that used to make me happy, just didn’t. I was just a blob of skin, meat and bones that would respond sometimes, but most of the time I was just trying to ignore the world. I still slip into a world of just me, I don’t talk to anyone, I just deal with myself.
I would like to say that I’ve accepted what has happened.
But honestly, I don’t think I ever will. At first I was experiencing all of these things at once, but as time has passed it has become more manageable. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way done grieving. I have just learned how to manage my emotions and become a somewhat stable human being again. Some days I’m strong and feel like I’m on top of the world, but I also have those days where I just can’t stop crying even if I feel like I’m happy, I just can’t make it stop.
No one can tell you how to deal with grief, it is different for all of us. And don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be done by a certain time, because you won’t be. It is something that is completely out of your control. Just because the way you are grieving is different from someone else, doesn’t make it right or wrong, we just go through things differently than others.
One thing that I found surprising (and also, not so surprising now that I’m looking back) is that when you lose a loved one you also lose other people in your life. For whatever reason. Maybe people didn’t know how to deal with me so they distanced themselves, or maybe they weren’t real friends to begin with. Either way people leave. Don’t fight it. If they were meant to be in your life during this whole process then they will be there. Just know the important ones will stay by your side.
This is just my experience, if you have gone through something like this.. was it similar?