Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chronic Grief - Learning How To Cope Through It...

I have been thinking about this blog post for a while, and well, I think it is time now.

When you hear "There Are 5 Stages of Grief" it sounds so cut and dry.

I have been to bereavement counselling, after Angel was born to Heaven, I went through the stages, I learned how to cope through them, and then life moves on.  Grieving should be over.

I have learned something new.  For the past 5.5 years, I have been in this constant state of what I call Chronic Grief.

It kind of goes like this:

Wow, I am so excited!  We are having a baby and the pregnancy has gone so well. (Expectation)
After the birth - Oh My God.  Is she going to live. (Crushed Expectation) 
1 week later - She is still alive!  She is fighting! (Expectation)
2 months later - She is home! She is not what we expected, but she is ours.  (Denying the Crushed Expectation)
7 months later - They said she would be tube fed for the rest of her life...she pulled out the tube!! Let's celebrate! (New Normal)
1 year - We learn what a seizure is.  We learn about medications. We have to make health choices that will affect the rest of her life. (Crushed New Normal/Anger)
18 months - She Is WALKING!!!  (Expectation, New Normal)

I could go on, but I will stop there.  

I realized about 2.5 years ago, that I am living in a constant state of Chronic Grief.  

DENIAL: "Yes, she is delayed, but she can be so typical too!"

ANGER: "Why can't they just see that she needs another year of SK?"

BARGAINING: "If I could find some extra resources, maybe things will work out better?"

DEPRESSION: "Forget it, I don't know what to do, if I just curl up on the couch, I will feel better, right?"

ACCEPTANCE: "Ah, new perspective.  What if the fact that she was accepted so easily to this program is really the blessing?  It will be a good thing for her."

Every one of these phrases I have felt/said over the last month.  It is just the next stage of grief that I am currently going through.

I am trying to figure out how to go through this grief, while still being able to function in society.  This is going to be the rest of my life.

Every time I see our family take those 2 steps forward, I am almost afraid of how big the step back will be.  I am afraid to celebrate somethings, because I am scared that I might jinx it.  

Sometimes I feel like I am constantly watching and I have actually found myself waiting for the next blow to come.  Because ultimately, I know it is.  

It SUCKS!!  It just sucks big time.  I feel like I can't live my life in a way that sees the positive anymore...

I plan on trying to break down the 5 stages according to my situation and try to figure out how, if possible, to skip some of these steps...or at the very least, cope through them.

I also know that I am not the only one out here who feels this way.  I would love anyones input about this, have you figured out ways to cope that work for you?

I just want to find my "normal" and stick with it.  Anyone else with me?


  1. I am absolutely with you. Thank you for a heart-wrenching post. You have to mourn the loss of the hopes and expectations that you had in order to embrace the new plan that God seems to have.