There are five basic stages of the grief process. We all have heard them at one time in our life or another.........Denial, Anger, Regret, Depression, and Acceptance.
They do not always look the same for people nor do you have any idea how long each stage can last, much less the length of the entire process! I still am not sure where I fall in this precise little package, or if I do at a1l. I think I have felt some part of all of these stages on some level already, and some more than once, so am I just in a repeating cylce or will there be an end?
Thankfully, the anger stage has been minimal for me. (so far) I don't usually get angry very easily. And I surely don't like the way it makes me feel. I have not been angry at God, but most surely have cried WHY, a thousand times! I do not UNDERSTAND why, but so far, have kept enough faith in God to know that I do not always have to.
Now the denial came quick for me and still remains strong. It is not described as the denial like most think, where you deny that the person actually died and what happened. That is not what I am feeling. Believe me, that is not even possible in my case. There is NO denying what I went through and witnessed. It is more of a denial that you just can't believe the person will not walk in the door again. You just can't believe you can't pick up the phone to call that person and they will not answer. You just can't believe they are not on a long vacation, and will be back soon. On the contrary.......you get the big picture. You believe the death, you saw it, you were there. It was extremely real, too real. But it is precisely these little things that continually haunt you all day long, every day, that you just can't wrap your mind around.
Regret....yes, I also know about this one. It came quite easliy for me too. I think this one is inevitable. Did I do enough? Could I have done more? Did she really know how much I loved her? Could I have told her more often? Did we play the right songs at the service? Should we have had an open casket? Did we do our absolute best at taking care of her? I should have spent MORE time with her. I should have walked on the beach with her that morning to see the sunrise. I should have stopped to sit and drink tea with her. I should have gone to that stupid Doo-Wop concert with her! I would walk a thousand miles just to talk with her for 5 minutes now!
Depression? Not extreme, but some days, perhaps. Sometimes the whole day can go by and you have done nothing, and can not even explain why. And some days, even when you do try and do something, you can't. Some days you can't even think. You are satisfied just to get through the day functioning as a part of society. Some times, you are happy just to to fall asleep at night, stay aseelp, and not have a nightmare
about cancer, death, or a hearse or coffin.
And acceptance.....not yet, not truly. I do not WANT to accept that my Mom is gone. Yes, I know she is in a better place and that it's better for her, but not necessarily for ME! Maybe if she was older? Maybe if I had more warning time? Maybe if she had not had cancer that took her from us prematurely? Maybe if she had not suffered? Hhhhmmmm.......Probably still not. All I do know is that I do NOT know how anyone who is not a Christian goes through something like this, without faith, without hope, without God. Knowing where she is and that I will one day see her again is the ONLY thing that gets me through some days. And I thank God for that.