Stages of grief
The primary definition of grief is:
keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret
Loss means different things to everyone and everyone experiences loss in different ways. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a psychiatrist who specialized in death and dying shared the idea of grief having five stages.
The idea is that most people go through some form of these stages when there is a loss. When I learned my daughter was a heroin addict, I suffered a major loss; the loss of innocence for my daughter and my other children and the loss of security that at any moment the disease of addiction could take her away from me. I have suffered and still suffer over those losses. A parent or loved one of an addict always sleeps with one eye open knowing that the disease could rear its ugly head at any moment. I have experienced every single emotion that the stages of grief represent. It is never the same and it is not 1-5 most of the time it is 1, then 3, then 5, then 2, then back to 1. The point is that it is a process that never seems to end.
When Ben left this life (still can't say died, because I have not accepted that yet) it was the most heart wrenching experience ever for those of us that loved and still love him. I only knew Ben for a few years before he died and yet for me, it was a lifetime. Long enough to know that my life would never be the same. I spent some time this past weekend with his mom and she shared that she too could simply not move on. It is too hard. I know how I feel having only known him for a few years, I can not imagine how she must feel having lost her baby boy. Sometimes life is simply not fair and although many strides are being made toward more support for those facing this disease it was not soon enough to save him. I have shared the many signs that Ben is still near in spirit, although the past couple days those signs haven't been there. I could not figure out why I was out of sorts until I realized that the hawks and pennies weren't there to remind me that he is still with us. I don't know why, but what I do know is there is a reason. Maybe Ben is trying to let me know that it is time to try to move forward and that he is out there but that life is still going on around me. I don't know for certain but what I do know is that as grateful as I am for everyone in my life and that my daughter continues to live and fight the fight, I am sad and angry that Ben is not walking into the kitchen every morning and walking up the stairs to bed every night.
Today my prayer is that those of you reading this that are still actively using or are in the recovery stage of the disease, know that I love you and I want you to live. I do not want anyone else to die. It is something that the people that love you will never get over. There may be days of acceptance however those days are few and far between, it is possible to be sober for the rest of your life; it will be hard but it will be worth it.
For those of you that have suffered an unimaginable loss please know that I love and pray for you every day as well. It sucks to be a family of loss but we are not alone. Whether or not we see signs of our loved ones presence in this world or not, they are still with us as memories that are etched on our hearts for all eternity, until we meet again 💙
Thank you for another day to remember Ben and all those suffer with addiction in our thoughts and prayers.
Please watch over all who grieve the losses that this disease causes.
Help them to see your healing presence in their lives today and always
PS I wrote this this morning at Crescent Lake on my way to work and as I was getting up to leave, this is what I found:
It may not be a hawk or a penny from heaven but it is a feather, another form of messages from beyond that we are not alone
Peace be with you and
God bless 🙏🏼
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