The five stages of grief are tricky and can be longer for some than others. Sometimes they are short lived as you go through a change in your life but for some, it takes a very long time, and for most there are things that will trigger you to go back to some of those stages you have been through. No matter how you handle your grief, it is the right way for you. Everyone is different.
Those 5 stages as I have mentioned before are
- Denial and Isolation
In past posts, I have mentioned that I can look back and clearly see when I hit all of the stages of grief. I was definitely in depression the longest and still at times can feel a little down, but I now know I have reached my point of acceptance.
In my Easter post, I mentioned a little bit about us knowing that we would now have to accept life as it is. I feel we have been doing that and have tried to be grateful for the way life is now. I believe that taking a break on trying to have another baby has helped us in our process, but there are definitely times when feelings of discouragement can come about. I have had health problems left and right since October and at times that frustrates me. Because of these problems, I have feared if I may even be able to get pregnant again. I am afraid of what might occur if I do. But I do know that I have been able to accept life as it is now and try to leave the rest up to God.
I knew that I had hit the acceptance phase when I was able to feel true excitement for my dear friend who had her baby just 4 short weeks after I was supposed to have Lennon. Her and her family decided not to find out the sex of their baby because they already had a boy and a girl. The day they had their baby, they obviously found out what they were having and it was a girl (Brinlee). At first I was a little bit sad for myself that I was missing out on that opportunity for myself, but I was happy for them. When we told Nixon that she had her baby, his first question was out of pure concern… DID SHE DIE?? My heart ached as I heard his question, but as we answered with a solid NO, she is healthy and strong! I saw hope in his eyes and for that I am grateful.
We had a ton of sickness in our house the week their baby was born and it lasted for a while, we also had a bunch going on that made it so we didn’t get to meet their sweet Brinlee for a couple of weeks. When we finally got to meet her, it was a moment that will always be dear to my heart. Holding her was bittersweet for me, but seeing my boys with her was pure bliss. The way they looked at her and loved on her just made my heart full of joy. If we don’t get to have our sweet Lennon, I am just grateful we get to have our sweet Brinlee. I know they would have been the best of friends! I may be sad that I don’t get to watch my baby grow, but at least I get to see Brinlee grow and think about the stages my little Lennon would be in. Now being able to accept life as it is, I am able to have more joy. Of course when I hear Nixon say things like “Mom, I really, really hope our next baby doesn’t die!” and “Mom, I can’t wait till we get to have a baby in our family.” My heart still sinks, it still hurts, but I still have hope that one day together as a family we will experience that miracle. That’s just what babies are… miracles! I couldn’t be surer of that then I am now.
Reaching this acceptance phase does not mean all goes back to normal, but what it does mean is that hope returns and you are able to keep going in the new life that you have now.
If you or anyone you know is struggling to get to this point of grief, here are a few things that may help..
Factors That May Help Resolve Grief
An individual can help to resolve grief by:
- Allowing time to experience thoughts and feelings openly to self
- Expressing feelings openly or writing journal entries about them- this one helped me immensely!
- Remembering that crying can provide a release
- Confiding in a trusted person about the loss
- Acknowledging and accepting both positive and negative feelings- this one also really helped me!
- Finding bereavement groups in which there are other people who have had similar losses
- Seeking professional help if feelings become overwhelming