Adding a Breath to the Stages of Griefby Elizabeth MacDonald
There always needs to be that period.
What if, instead, we add a comma?
A comma to signal that a breath needs to be taken;
A comma that shows you are not done loving…
You never need to be done loving.
Loss, memories treasured and held onto.
Death, gone but never forgotten.
A comma is like a hug, there to remind you to breathe but not end your moment.
After losing someone there tends to be a stormy sea to navigate. The lighthouse is there, but it is not quite near enough to give hope – yet. Tears are cried and condolences given – but it’s not time to heal. A body being ready to meet the earth or sail in the wind as ashes does not negate from your emotions. This time is yours alone to grieve.
Every person will walk through death differently. A child will yearn for a lost parent. A mother will yearn for her lost father. It will web and flow with unsolicited thoughts.
While handling and moving through these waters seems impossible for everyone, know that there are small tokens you can utilize to provide a sense of comfort and peace. By storing the ashes within a Hug Me Bear, you are granting yourself the ability to feel as though a part of your loved one is there – for bedtime snuggles with the kids, a hug each morning, there to talk to with an afternoon tea. A beautifully soft bear is easy to cry with and love on. It can provide a sense of happiness in the midst of confusion.
The 5 Stages of Grief
Minimizing the powerful impact that loss has on you, denial protects you from the sudden heartache that sweeps you from your feet and send you buried under the blankets. It provides you the ability to make it through the muddy details and survive the moments until reality settles in.
The act of hitting and throwing, cursing and raging is a step the body and brain must experience to move forward. Anger is also a mask to vulnerability, meaning that it is slowing your journey to the end goal of peace.
God should not have taken your loved one. It should never have happened. This is the time frame in which you will beg and bargain your own life away for any extra moments or stolen time you could have back.
You will feel an overwhelming abundance of loss. It will knock your breath away and send you to bed. There will no longer be begging prayers and wishes, only a looming sadness. If it feels truly unbearable, this is the moment to seek help.
You are no longer resisting reality, meaning that the denial and bargaining have ended. However, there may still be many moments of anger and depression that creep up. You will be able to wade your way through them, trudging and tediously, but you will.
Throughout every single stage there needs to be that added comma; the one that reminds you to pause and breathe before moving forward. That hug that will remind you that you are still alive and capable; a prayer of hope, tear of sadness, and cry of despair – that comma provides a break in the expected moments for you to be you.
Add that comma.
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