Tuesday, August 16, 2011



Welcome to the wonderful world of the Kübler-Ross grief cycle.
  1. Shock: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.
  2. Denial: Trying to avoid the inevitable.
  3. Anger: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
  4. Bargaining: Seeking in vain for a way out.
  5. Depression: Final realization of the inevitable.
  6. Testing: Seeking realistic solutions.
  7. Acceptance: Finally finding the way forward.

So, this is what the grief cycle is supposed to be, and for the most part, it is quite right. However, what this cycle does not explain is that these stages are often overlapping, not in any particular order, and can all exist equally at the exact same moment. Sounds a bit crazy, doesn't it? Guess what, it is crazy, and maddening, and frustrating, and, and, and...

The only one that seems to actually go away is the initial shock of it all. The numbness wears off and then you get to juggle the other six stages for the rest of your life. This is called "cycling" and most shrinks will say that it is some sort of avoidance behavior in order to not move onto the next stage. Well, let me clear that one up...there is no avoiding this "cycling" process. To avoid it would mean that I have control over it, which I do not. Events happen, songs play, memories float in and out of my brain, and there are constant reminders of your death everywhere. To think I have control over any of this is even more crazy that the "cycling" itself. In a way, I am glad that I can now juggle these six things at once...it has made me realize that while the "cycling" is crazy, I am not (Trust me, I thought I was for a while). I am just a Dad who misses his son and would do anything and everything to have him back...and that is not crazy!

I love you!

1 comment:

  1. I've often wondered if the shrinks that try to talk people through grief have ever experienced it for themselves. They are just so...matter of fact, for lack of a better word, about it, with all these certain steps and cycles and stages and normal or not normal reactions. I guess that's their job, but it's just so damn irritating.

    Heh. Rant over.

    I hope you're having a good day.