Today and to be honest the last couple of days I have been fighting the denial part of grieving. I have been told by the counselor and with the amount of loss I have experienced in the last few years I should know already, that these are the steps of grieving:
1st step- Loss- I am finding this doesn't just apply to human life, it can also apply to life as we know it facing a traumatic or an instant change.
2nd step- Numb, Shock, Denial- I am also finding this can mean two things (1) that it even happened, (2) the effects it has had on you. I this last couple of days have been fighting with myself as my brain starts denying the truth that my sister is gone, I find myself catching the denial and having to constantly remind myself of the reality.
3rd step- Bargaining- I am not sure what this one looks like quite yet, unless this is where when we went through the trauma I tried bargaining with God to take my life and spare my daughters.
4th step- Hopeless- I know this one far to well as we cycled through the trauma and I felt there was no hope of it ever ending, I have experienced some dark moments since my sister passed, but they were more to do with this limbo I have been put in and my Mom's fear of loosing the house and all that she has worked so hard for and feeling responsible after loosing my job.
5th step- Anger- Anger is the one I still get stuck in periodically as Satan uses it in my darkest moments to keep me down as he reminds me of all that was done to my family in 2009. I have felt some anger in my loss for my sister, directed at my family as my sister's stuff is disposed from her & her husbands house not even 24 hrs. after she has passed and it is like she is being erased from existence. Today also didn't help when my Mom showed me my sisters obit in the paper and it was all business void of any thing that represented who my sister was just full of all the necessary details.
6th step- Depression- this one I also no to well as when my husband left me when our children were 4 months & 15 months old I was diagnosed with what they call situation depression, caused by high levels of stress. I have learned over the years to recognize what depression looks like to me. First stage- getting the thoughts that tell me I am a failure, I can't do anything right, I have let everyone down. Second stage- is when my brain starts hearing what people are saying to me and it gets internalized too reinforce the thoughts in my head. Third stage- becoming overly tired and all my body wants to do is go to sleep. Forth stage- I start to withdraw from everything and avoid all social contact. Fifth stage- I start having suicidal thoughts run through my head, like driving down a road and fighting with myself as the lies in my head tell me just drive the vehicle strait of the road, look there is a cement wall that will do it and it will be all over you won't let anyone down anymore and the pain will stop. I call this stage the pack of lies that become far to real.
I have been blessed to not go past the first stage in a very long time as I have learned to go to who I am in Christ and when I feel myself slipping to stage 2 I start venting and asking for prayer as I know I don't want to go to the next stages. I am learning that depression is Satan's way of putting up a road block in your life and making you oppressed under his power. Satan is the great teller of lies & God is the great speaker of truths and when the lies come I don't want to follow Satan, so I declare the truths in Christ and he sets me free.
7th step- Helplessness- I experienced this through the trauma and I started experiencing this with my sister long before she passed away as there was nothing I could do to take away her pain. I truly believe that the grieving that comes with a terminal diagnoses for the living is far worse than the grieving of one who has already passed.
8th step- Regaining Hope- this one is fuzzy to me as I had felt hopelessness from this world but I have never lost my hope in Jesus Christ and that hope is what has gotten me through this last several years knowing that no matter how bad it got God had a purpose and he would get us through, even if it didn't feel like it.
9th step- Re-organizing Around Loss-this is the step I believe my brother-in-law from advice given by others has jumped straight to skipping over many of the other steps. I have not gotten hear with my sister yet, but I have with the trauma. I re-organized my priorities in life after the trauma. What use to drive me no longer did, as the material things became less important and my loved ones and relationships took its place. My drive now is to get to know God & the people around me better. My relationship with Christ has taken a priority seat in my life not how much I can advance in this world.
I was given a list of tasks for grieving and they are well appreciated advice as some of them I have found difficult in the past.
1. Cry when you need to cry, this one is difficult for me as my Nana and My Mom would always tell me not to cry, I know now as a parent it was because it hurt them to see me cry, but as a child I learned to oppress my tears. I actually stun a lady when my husband left. The same day he left are bunny had snapped it's back and I had to take it to the vet. Her husband stayed with the kids as well as his own and she drove me to the vet. I became overwhelmed in tears when the vet said we would have to put the rabbit down, the lady had explained to the vet that my husband had just left me and he told me to take all the time I needed. Still crying we headed back to my apartment minus a rabbit. I unlocked the door and turned the handle to open it and the lady with me said it was like watching a switch be flicked as I turned the handle and opened the door my emotions were shut right off, you could have never known my grief.
2.Embrace the loss & emotions, not so good with emotions, learning.
3. Talk about the person, this one I am finding difficult as I catch my self talking as if she was still here.
4. Journal about it, hmm, this is what I am using the blog for, as I share it all, as God has called me to do.
5. Spend time in Prayer. I find my prayer is a all day open dialogue with my Savior, as I journey through the day.
6. Don't feel guilty for feeling peace & joy in your life, hard one.
7. Allow your body to rejuvenate- grieving is hard work! I am going to have to learn this one as I keep on typing in this blog till 1am, oops just looked at the clock, & then am up before 7am. I know at some point I will Crash.
Time for me to turn in for the night, I pray God showers you with his peace, mercy, grace & joy as you journey on your path into the future. In Jesus Christ Name Amen.
P.S. ALPHA will be staring up soon for this fall, if you are looking for a safe place to ask explore the meaning of life, check out the second set of tabs at the top of the page for links to the Alpha websites.
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