Some say they are seven, others say there are just five stages. However, if you have ever dealt with pain, loss, and suffering, you would know that five or seven is pretty much irrelevant. Grief if just grief.
Who decided to herd grief sufferers into a box, give them a list of steps and decide that that was the way everyone gets through the pain of grief anyway. Before anyone answers, I don't want to actually know their name.
It doesn't really help a person who is grieving to feel boxed in to a way to get through the pain. It makes it even worse when you feel like you're doing it wrong.
I lost my mom seventeen years ago, and for her I still grieve. On cool crisp fall mornings that I know she loved. For the look on her face that I never got to see when I walked down the aisle.
My grandfather, who was in my book one of the most amazing people I have known passed away five months ago. I grieve knowing I missed his last Christmas because we decided to stay in Florida last year. I grieve for my grandma who lost the partner that was her other half for 62 years.
I still grieve the children we lost to miscarriage. I grieve for the moments I longed for that will never come. The first steps, first words, first day of school, and so many more. The grief is different, but in all cases, it still sneaks up on me sometimes.
I still grieve, yet I have grieved according to the "plan". I have processed every step. Am I doing it wrong? Am I broken?
By the list, anger is number two, but I can tell you that I have felt it after number four, before number one, and again and again and again. I don't let it consume me, but the anger is still there.
I still bargain. I bargained on my wedding day, bargained when I sat getting the news that I miscarried, bargained when I knew Jim was the one and wanted to share the news with mom. I bargained back in May when I was booking my flight to let me make it there to say goodbye to Grandpa. I bargain a lot.
People ask if this gets easy, and all I can say is what I know. No, it never ever gets easy. It just get easier.
And by the way, where does happy fit into all of this? What about the moments I laugh out loud thinking back and cherishing the memories I was lucky enough to have?
I find joy in everyday. Everyday I find at least three things to be grateful and happy for. I have gotten past the stages and by all accounts, I have dealt with the loss. I am not doing it wrong, I am not a mess. I am human and I feel.
I guess I just need to say that if you are grieving a loss, any kind of loss, its okay to find your own way through it. Sit in your car and scream, cry when you want, laugh when you feel like it, smile and dance if it feels right.
Know that there is no right or wrong way, and understand that everyone does it differently.
Grief, by definition is deep mental anguish, as that arising from bereavement
Grief for those actually dealing with it is ugly and messy.
Grief, simply put, is as individual as the person experiencing it.