Monday, May 4, 2009


I love that there are stages of grief. Seriously. I really appreciate that someone took the time to study and identify a predictable model for people dealing with loss and came up with Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance (or DABDA, if you like acronyms). When you're grieving, your feelings are unpredictable, unexplainable, and out of control, changing from one moment to the next. Knowing that other people feel the same things is helpful. It gives it a normalcy that is necessary when you are overwhelmed with emotions. It's comforting.

It was a relief to learn that the stages aren't linear (thank you, dear therapist). There are no easy established timeframes that you move from one to another in a set pattern. The feelings are all over the place. Over the course of one day, I can feel anger one moment, denial the next, a brief flash of acceptance, and then depression. The stages can't be forced; you must work through the feelings in your own time. Grieving is highly personal and shouldn't be rushed - either by the person experiencing it or those supporting the person. I find repeating the following phrase to myself is very helpful: "It takes as long as it takes." Feel free to try it.

I can identify clear moments when I've been in the trenches with one of the stages. Like when I said out loud to the universe back in February, "If you just let me keep this baby, I'll never ask for another one again. I'll hang up my uterus and call it done. Just let me have this one. " Bargaining.

When I had the ultrasound in March that revealed the baby died, I repeated out loud "This isn't happening, this isn't happening, this isn't happening." Denial.

Anger is the one I struggle with the most. Every now and again, I'll experience flashes of anger. Generally, I'm not an angry person. I see anger as unproductive and a waste of precious energy. Perhaps I repress it too much...oh well, I probably have some more work to do on this part of the grieving process. All the other ones...well, I'm pretty good at them.

'We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey'~Kenji Miyazawa


Emily said...

I found you from BabyLoss Directory- thanks for sharing your story with us. It helps to know we are not alone. ((hugs)) Emily from Stepping Stones

Reese's mama said...

I just said to a friend that my grief feels more like a graph of the stock market. Within the day, I am all over the place. If you look at the overall trend, it's headed in the right direction... until it isn't and I crash. But like the stock market, I hope to recover and keep moving forward. I like your phrase, and I pray for patience to allow this process and myself the time I need. Thanks, Cynthia.

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