The stages of grief and the repercussions throughout life
I wrote this post back in June as I sat in a caravan in the middle of nowhere in Cornwall. I was away on a hen weekend, a very thought provoking and enlightening weekend, and it drove me to write this post. Its been sat in my drafts for a while but today is the day to publish it. I hope it helps someone else, or just rings true that grief, no matter when it happened carries on forever. And you don’t know know when it will hit you hard and knock you for six.
Life without parents
When someone dies you go through a grieving process. It is different for different people but most likely involves shock, emotion, anger, acceptance. This process can take months, years or so I have found out many years. The effects are incredibly lasting and have changed me forever. A simple event can trigger me into bouts of depression and I am flipped back into the grieving process again.
Two weeks ago a series of events caused a significant relapse. My friend Neil came over to stay, who is going through an incredibly hard breakup. There were a lot of tears from him, a few from me. The conversations were very emotionally draining for both of us. Then the Manchester bombings happened. This threw me, watching breakfast TV made me cry for two hours. I couldn’t help but to put myself in the position of the parents who were searching for their children. Incredibly sad.
A comment was made in a Facebook group about negative thoughts and how a negative spiralling thought might create a negative event. And it brought back a horrid memory. When I was around eight years old I realised that my parents were older than everyone else’s. I clearly remember thinking they might die. I remember thinking they are older so they might die. This thought came back again and again throughout my childhood. Did I cause my parents to die?
After mum died, I started to think a lot about what would happen if my dad died. And then three years later he did. Again, did I cause this to happen with my negative thoughts?
Have I caused an Event?
Any rational mind will of course say no Lynn, don’t be ridiculous! You can’t cause a dramatic event like this to happen by the power of your mind . But yet when you are racked with emotion from world events, upset friends and as I have just realised it being ‘that time of the year’ which marks the anniversary of the deaths of both parents you become very irrational with your thoughts. And I start to dwell on the fact that I caused my parents to die.
The thing is, when someone dies you question the whys and the how’s. Is there anything I could have done to prevent it? If it’s an accident you might think about the what-ifs or the decision taken leading to that accident. With disease it might be thoughts of a more healthy life, less drinking, more exercise. But really at the end of it all we have no CONTROL over when we or others die. We maybe have influence, but not control.
A change of Direction
At the age of 38 I decided to change the direction of my life. I quit my job, starting Mrs Mummypenny full time to start building my business dreams. Much weight was lost and I ate clean for two months. I wanted to be fit and healthy in mind and body for my 40th birthday and beyond. I am influencing my health so I reduce the risk of dying of a heart attack when I am 58 leaving my boys without a mum.
So back to the stages of grief in the past three weeks I have gone from extreme emotion, to anger, to questioning everything, to making changes to get in more control of myself- acceptance.
I just want you to know if you have lost someone close to you, it’s tough. And it will keep on being tough for the rest of your life. But as time passes the tough times become less frequent. Seek help and guidance whenever you are feeling down and emotional, don’t bottle it up or let it make you too overwhelmed and angry. Please see this link from Betterhelp, who can give you more information about this guidance. And crying is really good for you.