Take them in order or mix them up and pull each one out of a hat, one at a time…there is no order, there is no time line. In fact, there is no guarantee that you will go through all five.
Your grief is unique.
It came up today with a friend who is in the early stages of loss. His wife died just a few weeks ago, leaving him with two small daughters. He’s a smart guy and has enlisted the help of professionals to ease the pain. The girls have regular sessions with a therapist and now, he’s decided it’s time for him to see someone too. So, we were talking about these stages of grief.
He’s feeling them all at once and one at a time and that’s got him baffled. He’s having a hard time with the anger part. Could he have done more and the answer is “NO.” But it’s hard to accept that because he’s the kind of man who was the doer in the family. He was the ‘man’ of the house. He was the husband who loved his wife and loved his family and did everything right to make a great home for them. Now that home is shattered.
He feels angry about that.
Today is his wedding anniversary. 9 years ago they were making plans for a happy, long life together. So today the ‘depression’ stage was weighing-in.
We talked about the long road ahead and how these stages wrap themselves around the heart and squeeze.
I reminded him about all the support that is lifting him today and tomorrow and for as long as he needs it.
Because sometimes these stages hang around for a long time.