May 25, marked 6 months since we lost Mark.
As much of the Psychology nerd that I am (it is my bachelor’s degree afterall), I can’t help but disagree with the infamous Kubler-Ross 5 stages of grief.
I firmly believe that grief takes it own form and is different for everyone– you can’t group it.
We all experience loss differently, even if we share a common loss. I experienced the long month of watching my father wither away and pass differently then my step mother/his wife did. We both found this to be comforting that we shared it, but also extremely isolating. She has felt incredible loneliness in her altered everyday life, while I have felt loneliness in watching all my peers have their parents to guide them in the scary journey of adulthood.
In a way, we both find it hard to feel that anyone could ever relate to the loss we are still going through. I think that is what I have learned most thus far– that no one will understand. Loss & grief is something profoundly deep and personal, yet universal. This makes it extremely lonely. You have so many emotions, moments, and even regrets that are unique to you.
I also have learned that in our society, grief is a very taboo subject. Sure, we are there in the immediate passing, but what about 4 weeks, 4 months, 4 years down the road? We move forward with our lives, while those dealing with the loss are often stuck. We stop checking in, which can come accross as stopped caring. We have learned that grief and loss goes far, far after the immediate loss.
We as a society need to re-imagine how we deal with grief. We need to realize that grief is lonely, heartbreaking, and a forever road. How can we give adequate support down the road?
We all experience loss in some shape or form, so let us learn how to care for eachother down the road.
My father always turned things into a life lesson. Somehow, he managed to turn his own passing into a life lesson that we are still learning 6 months later. That is just the force he was, and will always be.