Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Stages of Grief: Denial

I have always found writing very therapeutic especially in times that I can not completely process my feelings and thoughts. I decided that I would write my way through the five stages of grief. 

As a general background on grief, there are said to be five stages of grief. DABDA.. Denial... Anger... Bargaining... Depression... and Acceptance. I believe that everyone goes through all the stages when mourning but the length of time a person spends in each one varies greatly from person to person. For example some people might only spend a few seconds in denial while another can spend a day or week. All of the stages are our bodies way of processing and protecting us. 

Today I lost someone... well I didn't really lose them because I know right where he is. He is in heaven. He is a man of many names. Some call him Carvin, some call him Pastor Don, some call him father, grandpa, husband, and I called him P. Don. I met him when I was in a very broken place. I was recently separated from my spouse, I was caring for my daughter alone, I was without a church home, I was feeling completely unloveable, and I had no idea what God had in store for me and my family. I was bitter and confused. I was broken. To be honest on first time meeting P.Don I would have never believed the impact he would have on my life. I went to his church with my parents and through that event I ended up working at the church's daycare. Since I didn't have transportation I worked on the bus route with P.Don. We spent hours a day talking. We talked about life and about God. Pastor Don taught me to seek a deeper understanding of God. He taught me to not just blindly follow what others said but to search scripture for truth. He taught me that reconciliation with my spouse was possible. Most of all he taught me that I am lovable. That was one of my toughest lessons, just hearing the words would bring tears to my eyes each time. Far to often I would end up crying because he would push me to grow and while it was difficult I thrived. I would not only spend most days at the church but would go to the bible studies and hangout during the weekends. Pastor Don also taught me how to love others just through watching his interaction with everyone around him. He spent the time speaking to the parents of the kids. He would pray for them and evangelize to them... not by hitting them with the Bible but by understanding how lost and broken they were and reaching out through love.  After our reconciliation,  I would text my hubby to let him know that I was on my way home and I would type P.Don instead of spelling out the entire thing and  once he, Pastor Don, had heard me say it to my hubby and told me what it sounded like when I said it out loud. Instead of being offended he laughed and smiled. He was always that way... instead of being quick to anger he was quick to love. He has set the bar high for all the other pastors. I was trying to describe who he was to me and I couldn't quite articulate it. He was a friend, like family,  a mentor, he is P.Don. 

Denial is one of the first stages of grief. It is the stage I am still in. One day I was watching an interview of Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory) on Ellen. She, Kaley, was describing how she had severely broken her leg in a freak horse riding incident. Basically the she got thrown from the horse and then the horse got spooked and stepped on her leg. When she was describing the events she said that she couldn't feel anything but she noticed her foot was facing her and she thought "oh that's going to hurt." That is kind of like what I feel right now. I can see how bad the damage is going to be and I know that it is going to hurt really bad but at this moment I don't feel it... I am numb. When I am in denial I become very logical and think through the things that need done and how I need to go about doing them but I don't spend time reflecting on the emotions. When those come I will completely crash so for now I need to prepare for the storm as best as possible. I feel heartache for his family and for all those who loved him but I don't feel the loss myself. I feel a little concerned that it will hit suddenly and hard when I least expect it, like when speaking to someone in public, but I know that I can't live in fear. When it gets tough I will have to keep putting it back at the feet of the cross and letting God give me the strength I need. I would not make it through if it weren't for the grace of God. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

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