Monday, January 2, 2012
Storm of Grief
I can't even clearly state exactly what stage of grief I am in currently and honestly it changes moment by moment. Yesterday was hard-I'm pretty sure it was a tornado of 1 2 3 and 4. I always have the hardest days when I dream about her at night. My dreams are always of her with me. I get to hold her, touch her and talk to her in my dreams. When I wake up and she is not there it's like I have to loose her all over again and the storm begins just like new. I have gone through bad breakups, even divorce, I have lost loved ones before, I miscarried, I have gone through difficult times as a child but all these pale in comparison to loosing Kelsie. This is by the far the most difficult thing I have ever had to endure. Going into my third month of loss I am learning how to cope better. I can get tasks done, it no longer takes a full day to load the dishes in the dishwasher. I have been more productive at work, not as productive as I want to be or feel like I should be but it is improving. Days are a little less foggy, well they are still foggy but maybe the fog is not always as thick as it was at first. But, being able to make it through just a little better does not mean it's any easier.
I still want to talk about Kelsie, sometimes I just want to pretend she is here. I post her pictures to face book, just as reminder to me of how cute she was, how big her eyes were, how long her eyelashes were, how chubby her cheeks were. Just a reminder that I do have a daughter, it's just that my daughter is safe with Jesus tonight and not asleep in my arms.
So the truth about Grief is there is no stage sequence or checklist it is basically a whirlwind of emotional drainage and physical exhaustion. The only saving grace is that God has put amazing people in my life to help me along the way. People that love me like Jesus would, people that pray for me daily, friends that send messages just to let me know they are thinking about me. Friends that let me rant on and on about how depressing it is or that laugh at all my terrible jokes. A son who wraps his arms around me every time I see him now (well as long as it is just me and him). A husband who works so hard to get through this, for me, for Dylan.
I am still working on allowing God to mend me. I get in the way, me! Let go and let God...it's only 5 words and when you say it just sounds so easy. Letting go of your self...eh I have decided that is a very very difficult thing to do. There is not a self help book on that...trust me I have browsed though all of Amazon's self help selection. Then when I stop and think about how I should be handling this, am I praying enough, am I allowing God to seep through me, am I what God intends me to be? I don't know, some days I can pray some days I can't. Sometimes I read devotions, sometimes I read about other Christians who have lost and I wonder is I should mirror their reaction. They seemed to get through this ok. They have found their other side. But in the end this is my pasture, this is my dry land that I have to water and tend to in order to see the rolling hills of green land again. So I suppose the best way is just the way it is. There is no right way just someway, I can't really say my way because if I had my way...I wouldn't even have this blog.
7 Stages of Grief...
1. SHOCK & DENIAL-
You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.
2. PAIN & GUILT-
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.
You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn't do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.
3. ANGER & BARGAINING-
Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.
You may rail against fate, questioning "Why me?" You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never drink again if you just bring him back")
4. "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS-
Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be "talked out of it" by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.
During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.
5. THE UPWARD TURN-
As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your "depression" begins to lift slightly.
6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.
7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-
During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.
7 stages of grief...
You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.