Maybe a former lover suddenly walked out your relationship. Maybe it's a parent who loses the relationship with a child or maybe you've had a friendship end on a sour note. No matter the reason, you find yourself grieving the loss. It was pretty sad to hear others in my class sharing their stories of loss and despair. Death is depressing and sad. And then it happen... someone mentioned grandparents. My heart sank.
|My dear sweet grandma and I|
Then he girl two seats down from me began to tell her story. Her mother had deserted her when she was little and she is still, to this day, confused about why things happen. My professor said that when relationship ends, it is just as tough, if not tougher to deal with. This is because you know the person who left you, is still around. You have to face the fact that someone you cared for, left you by choice. It feels like getting a huge kick in the gut. It was here that I basically lost it.
|My sisters & I with my Grandpa|
I've been dealing with the death of any sort of relationship with my mother. She was really good at making her own kids realize that we were disposable or just collateral damage. As this girl shared her story with the class, I felt those all to familiar pangs of loss, hurt & rejection and with that; One silent tear was replaced by many.
My professor wrote on the whiteboard. In great big letters I saw this: D.A.B.D.A. and we were asked to draw upon our own experiences and label each emotion. I ran through each phase in my mind.
Denial - I could not & would not believe my own mother discarded me. No matter what anyone said, I refused to believe family members could be so unfeeling and hurtful. I've only entered the denial stage a few times when it comes to my mom because I have known who she really is for my entire life, so the way she can discard or turn on people doesn't usually surprise me.
Anger - After an incident last year, it took me about 4 months before I got really angry. I could no longer overlook the obvious. Which was this: I was accused of something horrible but I had proof that they were wrong but it really didn't matter to them. I just wanted yell as loud as I could and make them listen to me, but they refused. The more I tried, the worse they made me feel and the worse I felt, they angrier I got.
Bargaining - This stage is horrible. At least it was for me. I started trying anything I could think of to bring an end to my painful reality. I was offering up my own pride and what I knew to be true in return for just a moment of time to talk but all I got was mocked and laughed at. I think I will be bouncing between anger and acceptance because I am sooo done bargaining.
Depression - In my case, I felt more anger, frustration and helplessness. Who the heck wouldn't get depressed?! Sometimes there is just nothing you can do or say to make things better, and when I realized this, I moved on to the letter A.
Acceptance - I've accepted the fact that things are irrevocable broken but that's okay. I tried my best and that's all I can do. I have to accept that she doesn't care and possibly never did. I've known this and accepted that this is who she is for many years now. My mother is not quite right in the brain and I just have to deal with it. I have to accept that this is my reality and her loss. I have had to look back and understand that the dream of someday having that mother-daughter bond died with each lie, each hurt, and every stab in the back. I accept it all but that doesn't mean it doesn't make me sad.
I think I am still in the first stages of acceptance, and will be for quite some time, with a few occasional visits to the other stages every now and then. I cant help it. I have these little moments where I get upset at the pure madness of the genetic hand I have been dealt. Sometimes the whole thing just makes me sad. I try to remind myself to consider the source and let it go.
I've always felt that crying or showing emotion meant that I was weak, but that is not true. It means I'm only human. It means I have a heart that I am willing to lay out in the open. It takes a special kind of strength that is only found deep within our spirit, to show love and compassion towards a person that has hurt us.
Death is not always an easy topic. Talking about death or dying can be uncomfortable at times but the death of a loved one can be extremely painful. Especially if you are sitting in the back row of a classroom. It's just plain embarrassing. Next time, I am showing up with box of tissues to wipe my eyes and a pen & paper to get an autograph from Tom..... just in case.