And I will always regret. Each time I took her for granted. Every time I raised my voice. Every time I should have been giving her flowers and saying I'm sorry. Instead of running away. She gave me the only thing I ever needed. The key to her heart. I didn't know what I had. Until it was too late.
Losing it. I will call this grief. Separation through death is not the only way we experience grief. Any event or incident that evokes disappointment, pain and hurt can result in grief.
Separation through moving away can grieve people as deeply as separation through death. It can often worsen because the lost object is still around, making it difficult for the grief victim to put a closure to the painful experience.
One loss nearly everyone knows is the loss of a relationship. This may involve friends, colleagues or lovers. Even in an illicit relationship that has come to an end, a loss is experienced. In fact, when we lose a person, we often lose the friends and acquaintances (including family members) associated with that person. What follows is often a sense of emptiness, and trying to fill the vacuum can be insurmountable.
Any loss that causes some form of upheaval in life evokes grief. But the intensity of grief varies, with minor upheavals causing transient feelings of disappointment and major upheavals causing pain which can continue for a long, long time. Severe grief can also lead to psychiatric illness, especially when the victim cannot cope with the experience or when the emotions seem overwhelming.
The grieving process
The first thing we need to realize is that grief is a normal response to a painful event. It is irrelevant whether the loss evolves around things, people, events, time, youth, self esteem or identity. What matters is the realization that a chain of reactions and responses follows every loss and this is called a grief reaction. There is nothing we can do about it. The more we try to resist or deny the reaction, the more we struggle with our recovery. The five stages of grief are:
Denial, anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance or resolution.
It does not matter whether the loss was anticipated or not, the immediate response is shock. Just as the body goes into shock after a serious injury, the mind and spirit go into shock after an emotional blow. Following the shock there is a sense of disbelief and numbness. This is an experience of denial. It is natural for us to denial a reality that we are not ready to accept.
It is important for the grieving person in any circumstances not to continue in denial indefinitely. It becomes critical at some point to face reality. The key to breaking through the wall of denials is time and the opportunity to talk about the grief as well as the permission to cry.
Persons still suffering from denial or prolonged shocks are also capable of making rash or inappropriate decisions. It is an impulsive decision and usually worsens the situation.
The roller coaster of emotions that follows denial includes being angry. It seems so natural to be angry when you lose something and cannot find it back.
The problem with anger is that it can be destructive. It can run into bitter resentment and lead the grief victim into all kinds of self destruction behavior and physical hostility towards others or himself.
Anger is an integral part of normal grieving or loss and accepting that we can feel angry and expressing this emotion appropriately is so important if we are to overcome grief. Denying will not make it disappear. We need to learn that feeling angry is just like feeling sad, or glad or even bad. They pop in and out of our minds all the time.
Closely related to anger is the feeling of guilt. These feelings of guilt arise from something which we did or said but wished we had not. Feelings of guilt are the hallmark of the grief process not to be obsessed with them would inevitably slow down recovery as well as generate lots of anger on things that cannot be changed.
It is important to understand that while you are grieving you will inevitably feel sad, and everything seems pointless. Painful memories linger on your mind and make you sadder. But you need to come to realization that accepting the loss is the only way out and it is time to redirect your energies towards the future.
This is the next stage of the process. It can be seen as an attempt, albeit a desperate one, to be in control. To want things as they were, to push back the clock. Bargaining is not all bad for a while. It is protective in that we do not have to face reality when we are not ready. It gives us a sense of being in control temporarily.
Acceptance or resolution
This is the last stage of grief. All that has gone on before, propels the griever into the final stage of acceptance.
Acceptance is not a stage in which we stick our heads into the sand and act as if nothing has happened. If we refuse to accept things, we will get stuck in the grief process itself. It becomes toxic.
Acceptance requires great amount of courage to accept things that cannot be changed, to let go of the pain, to trust that healing will eventually come and to have a desire to rejoin life again.
How do we work through the journey of grief? We arrive at our destination which is acceptance….
Once upon a time a wizard got a workbench on wheels for free. Not only was it made of the highest quality wood and steel, but it also had a nice vice and plug and grinder hardwired and ready for any type of work. This old workbench served its purpose in life as an outside space to work and grind for a wizard that liked to make two-wheeled-turds. It loved being a workbench but little did it know, those days were coming to an end.
During June and July of 2012 the workbench was used on and off each week, which made it feel good. You see, for years before that it was sitting lonely in a garage that was crowded with junk and dust. The renewed sense of life that the wizard gave the workbench made it happy.
Then in late summer the workbench noticed the wizard wasn't visiting it as much. Sometimes weeks would go by without even a glance in its direction. This made the workbench sad.
One day the wizard was organizing around the workbench with a heightened sense of urgency. The workbench knew that it may not get any use but it was glad to have some company none the less. The workbench did find it strange that the wizard was working so late at night but it was too tired to think about it too much and went to bed to the sound of tools and motorcycle parts being moved about.
In the morning the workbench awoke to a tidy area just for itself. The wizard soon joined it but there was a strange look on his face. The wizard, without even touching the workbenches vice or grinder, pushed it in the corner and started stacking things around it. It felt abandoned and sad and that familiar feeling of neglect began to creep back into its bones.
Over the next week the workbench watched the wizard as he worked with other wizards. Tirelessly they nailed wood together. Measuring twice, cutting once, nailing, talking....one wizard stopped for frequent breaks to drink from strange tinted bottles. Day after day. Night after night this continued. At first the workbench was happy being a spectator. Watching the wizards was almost as fun as helping them. After a few hours on the 4th day of work though it hit him.
Its wizard owner was making a workshop.....which meant that the workbench would soon be ignored for years again.... The workbench was sad. On the 5th and 6th day it cried....in fact it even started to rust a little......the thought of being lonely without any wizard contact for another 10 years was just too much to bear....
One evening about a day after the workshop was completed, the owner wizard came over to the workbench and started to clean it out. The workbench was surprised and a little uneasy but soon realized that the wizard was preparing it for its next stage in life. It wasn't going to be cast aside to become a dusty worthless hunk. I was going to be re-born into something beautiful!
The workbench had actually been in transition for the last 15 years. Little did it know, the 10 years it lay sad and lonely before the wizard found it, its insides had been preparing it to be reborn into a more useful and beautiful tool chest! Not just any tool chest but one with drawers with action smooth as silk and a fold out locking front cover.
The wizard grinded, pounded, and cussed a little. It took about an hour and a half and it hurt sometimes but soon the workbench was re-born into a beautiful even more useful sliding drawer tool chest! It was happy with its new form and now it looks forward to spending it days in the new workshop where it will be useful to the wizard for years to come. The wizard even gave it a name. Its new name was Kennedy.
Insides ready to be reborn.
Fruit of the workbench.
Cool old safety glasses that need cleaned.
Old Kirby Lit.
Wish this was in it.
Christians in Africa.
Just after rebirth. Outside the O.R.
As you can see Moyou wizard was supervising.
Like a newly born wizard, Kennedy still needs a little more cleaning before it can make its debut.