Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Stages of Grief

Here is the grief model called "The 7 Stages of Grief"
(I thought there were only 5)

I felt numbed disbelief when they first told me and my husband that they found something in my baby's head. The tiny optimist in me kept convincing me that this was nothing because doctors can make a mistake and ultrasound is not really reliable. I prayed for a miracle. I felt that something like this cannot possibly happen to me. What are the odds right? Somewhere there my denial was accompanied with a sense of hope.

As the shock wore off, I felt this unbelievably gripping pain in my chest. Crying was my only form of release but there seemed to be no real relief available. My head was noisy with incessant questions that have no answers. I didn't know who or what to blame.

I was angry. I would walk around feeling angry. I was angry at God. However, though, in my bouts of anger I would still find myself talking to him and telling him that since he gave this to me he has got to help me through it. i was angry but i didn't really stop praying. Who else am I going to turn to?

People keep telling me things such as "I can do this.", "There is a reason", "God has a plan". but no amount of encouragement from others was really helpful. The magnitude of what I am faced with and the loss of my 'dream" child depresses me. I isolated myself on purpose, and didn't feel like meeting up with people. I would look at my daughter and feel pity. I would look at her and see the physical manifestations of the syndrome. I would see the broad forehead , the small chin, the protruding and wide-spaced eyes, the low set ears. I would look at her and not see her... I would see the syndrome. There is this sense of emptiness, a sense of despair. I felt like there was no more hope... no more joy.... I felt that denial seemed like a much better stage to be in. At least when I was in denial, I had some hope.

Eventually as I get the hang of my new routine and I have adjusted better to the demands of taking care of an infant, I would at times catch myself forgetting that i was caring for a special needs child. Eventually I caught myself while in my wallowing, that wallowing was exhausting. I would tell myself that I have got to move on. Eventually I found myself looking at my daughter and actually see her and how beautiful she was. Eventually I would catch myself forgetting that I have a child with special needs.

Don;t get me wrong, I am not quite THERE yet... I still have my moments, but I have slowly come to realize that the next day is always better than the last one.

I am not at this stage quite just yet... but from what i've read this is the point wherein one's mind starts working again and realistic solutions are sought as the process of reconstruction begins.

Not here quite yet either.. but they say that during this stage one has already accepted and has learned how to deal with the reality of the situation. A misconception is that acceptance means instant happiness... it is not. One might not be able to go back to the old and carefree state but one has already found a way forward. I guess in my case, this would be the time that I have found a way of redefining what is 'normal'.


People do not go through these stages in the progression at it is listed above. Some people jump between stages, as in my case, wherein I would find myself being angry, depressed, and bargaining in varied times during the day (and night). But these stages are real stages that grieving people do experience. And as much as I would love to just be able to jump through to the next stage and fast forward through time, I need to be able to feel and go through these stages to get to acceptance. To once again feel the promise of Hope.

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