After losing my son, I had to know where to find my place of acceptance and I couldn’t do it soon enough. I needed to be a mom for my other two children so “bouncing back” was a major priority. I was aware that bouncing back fully wasn’t going to happen and naturally so. After losing a loved one, we grieve in ways that sometimes only the sufferer understands. It wasn’t until I did my research that I’ve learned about the seven stages of grief and how that would help me recover and move on with life. Little did I know that I have already gone through a few stages. Everything I’ve read about the seven stages of grief was very familiar. By this time, I realized that I was going through exactly what I was supposed to go through in order to find my place of acceptance and recover.
Shock- When I asked the doctor if my son pulled through, a wave of paralyzing trauma went through my body, causing me to collapse onto the floor in such emotional agony when he told me “no”. After processing the devastating news, I felt numb. I remember feeling like I needed to wake up from a horrible dream. His lifeless body was placed in a room, covers neatly folded at his tiny waist. I could tell he was placed there with care for me to say my goodbyes. His room was dark (shades closed, lights out). Silence echoed throughout the room so much, you could hear my tears fall. At that point, I was still sitting next to him, still numb and waiting to wake up from this bad dream.
Denial- Because I wanted to stay strong for the kids and not bawl out of control in front of them, I denied my tears, my pain and my hurt because I felt I had to. I’m realizing now that’s the worst thing a grieving person could do. Never hold back your feelings. Letting go releases amounts of emotional weight that could be very unhealthy(emotionally and physically) for you to carry .
Anger- My son, who had never had any health problems other than an occasional cold, died in his sleep. I was angry, because he was taken from me…just like that. Autopsy revealed that it was a viral infection that took him. His report was read “normal” page to page. Nothing unusual, suspect,etc. My question was “why him?” I was never given an answer and that’s why I had so much anger. That was also the My anger was lifted once I realized that as humans, we do what we think is best. God saw to take him, because he was too good to stay on Earth. God placed him as an angel and I’m just thankful and blessed to have had Robert in physical form for his short three years.
Bargaining- I hoped and prayed to change how I felt as I dealt with the death of my child. I even bargained with my heart to try falling in love…not understanding that I was forcing it, because I wanted to feel happiness and joy again. That didn’t work for obvious reasons. However, I acknowledged my behavior and decided that it was not his responsibility to make me happy. I had to discover happiness on my own…starting with finding it within.
Guilt- Oh boy! I felt tons of guilt. From not being with him the day he died to feeling like a complete loser of a mother, guilt was that one symptom that was hard for me to get over. It’s that need to “turn back the clock”, so we can do things over. I regret not being with him during his last moments. However, It took a lot of understanding and knowing that I did what I thought was best for my child, was all that mattered.
Depression- It’s one of the most common symptoms when we lose a loved one. I go through profound sadness, usually around his birthday. I get over it by celebrating him like I normally would if he was still here. That includes buying a cake and singing “Happy Birthday”.
Acceptance- I accepted Robert’s death when I realized I could go on with life. I knew life would never be the same, but I hoped for peace of mind and that’s what I got. I can talk about Robert and my lips will form a smile. A memory of him being silly will pop up and laughter escapes. Those are my signs of acceptance. When we learn how to deal is when we accept a loved ones death. For some of us, we will never learn how to heal and naturally so. As long as we learn how to deal and find the strength within ourself to find our place of acceptance, we’ll be fine. It takes an uber amount of courage & strength for ppl to live their best lives after losing a loved one. I’m showing off my courage everyday. I recovered when I believed in owning a better life. My son’s death has taught me how strong I am.