Grief…. Grief is a season we enter into when someone dies. Depending on the relationship with that individual, how they died and when they died will often affect our process of grief. According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross there are 5 stages of grief.
Denial – this is the moment when you receive the news that your love one is gone and you can’t believe it. Your mind refuses to believe it. You live in disbelief anywhere from a few minutes to a few days (Kubler – Ross, 2019). I experienced denial when I received the news that my baby had died. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t want to imagine a future without her. I didn’t want to let go of the dreams I had for her.
Anger – this is the moment you start to understand and realize what has happen. You grow angry. Bitter. Hurt (Kubler – Ross, 2019). I felt this way between the days of my ultrasound and surgery, as well as days after. I was so angry. I was angry at myself. I was angry at my doctors. I was angry at my husband. I was even angry at God. I was angry that my baby died.
Bargaining – this is the moment you start to ask the “what if?” and “why?” questions. It’s when we start to wonder and even believe their had to have been something we could have done differently (Kubler – Ross, 2019). I was in this stage for awhile. Daily, I would ask myself why did my baby have to die? Why didn’t I see this coming? What did I do to deserve this? I’m her mom, why didn’t I know she was gone? I should have known. I would have given anything to change what was and to have my baby be alive and okay.
Depression – this is a stage you can enter into over and over again. This stage can last for months or even years on end (Kubler – Ross, 2019). Days after my surgery I bounced back and forth between stages, but I mostly lived in the depression stage. I remember lying in bed for days, sobbing and unable to move. The sadness was too much.
Acceptance – this is typically the last stage of grief and we usually enter this stage weeks, months or even years after already going through the other stages. This is the moment that we aren’t necessarily okay that a love one is gone, but rather we accept this is our new reality and understand that our loved one is no longer with us (Kubler – Ross, 2019). As I write this today, I believe I am slowly coming out of depression and entering into the acceptance stage. As I take the opportunity to write and work on myself, I have come to realize that as heavy as my grief can be, life goes on. I will always miss my baby, but I am still alive and here to do good work in honor of her.
One thing to remember about the 5 stages of grief is that not everyone experiences them in this order. Some people experience denial and depression first, while someone else may experience anger and bargaining first. It is also helpful to remember that these five stages are a cycle. Almost everyone who is living in grief will enter each stage at some point and they may enter them many times before finding acceptance.
There is no set time limit on grief. Everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time. For me personally, I believe I am taking longer to grieve more than some other angel mommies. I also feel that I am more public with my grief… by writing a blog and sharing my story. Not only does this help me talk about Mackenzie but it also helps me not feel so alone.
“The only person who gets to decide what grief looks like, is the person experiencing it.” – Megan Devine
If you are interested in learning more about the five stages of grief, I have provided a link below.