When we suffer a loss the stages of grief are important, but above all, natural. Sometimes for us that grief can be the loss of someone who is still very much alive. The husband or wife that left us or the parent that could never be what we wanted them to be.
All the usual stages such as denial, anger, bargaining, and depression apply. They can be harder for us to go through when the person is still alive and often we get stuck. Who of us has not known someone get stuck at the loss of someone in the anger stage? A suicide or a disease they pass to us before death is a common way here for us to get stuck.
It would appear that for me I’ve gotten stuck in the bargaining stage with one piece of grief and perhaps depression with the other. Really I’m not sure which is worse. I managed to transition all the way to acceptance with the final piece of grief I suffered. It’s frustrating that for the two others it has not happened so smoothly especially as I felt I had been through it.
Being stuck in depression over the one piece of grief is hard. It is a silent problem. You don’t notice it. It only appears occasionally and is more like a mood than a strong, obvious, presence. I think I have gotten stuck in this with my fathers death. Somewhere in among this is also longing for him. During my recent problems I find myself wanting my Dad. This is complicated and confusing at 32 years of age. Talking about him and his death can instantly reduce me to tears and I run away from this.
On the other hand with the failure to accept my mother would never be the mother I wanted I might be somewhere in the anger stage with a touch of bargaining. If only we (I) had gotten her help or could help her to get help. If only she would react like I need a mother to react and then in the face of her tirade of abuse, I find myself angrily hurling abuse back at her or being short tempered with her.
Dealing with both of these has clear and obvious problems now. I can only see the outcome with dealing with my fathers death as traumatic and painful. Dealing with my mothers failure and inability is not unique nor is it new. I am probably further along with my grief towards my mother as a result of recent events. I may possibly even have wandered into acceptance. Time will tell.
The loss of my relationship saw me go all the way through the stages within 6 months. Today I sit here completely detached from the person. Most of what tey do now makes me feel sort of sad for them or I just feel pity. I realise I am more together than they are and that the weakness I saw in myself was never there. I was flawed but I was also hurt. I have for too long allowed those around me to call the shots, which with the strong personality that I have, utterly amazes me.
That we can be so unaware of being stuck in grief and blissfully unaware of the affect those we had allowed into our lives were having on us it makes us question our judgement. What can we do to stop this happening again? How will we be able to identify it? I think the reality is that when we pass through the looking glass, step back, turn around and look at it, suddenly it is just a mirror and what we see behind us is just a reflection of what we are…or rather were.