Kubler-Ross is my go to expert when I am struggling with grief after suffering a huge loss, this is her model for the 5 stages of grief:
The stages, popularly known by the acronym DABDA, include:
- Denial – The first reaction is denial. In this stage individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.
- Anger – When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, they become frustrated, especially at proximate individuals. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?”; “Why would this happen?”.
- Bargaining – The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromise.
- Depression – “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die soon, so what’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?”
During the fourth stage, the individual despairs at the recognition of their mortality. In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time mournful and sullen.
- Acceptance – “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”
In this last stage, individuals embrace mortality or inevitable future, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event. People dying may precede the survivors in this state, which typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable condition of emotions.
For me, I know when I suffer a devastating loss, every other loss I have ever felt in my life resurfaces, and there is a need to face these losses once again and go through the grieving again. The importance to not fight grief or let it turn to anger and just be gentle, kind and nonjudgmental of yourself and others as you go through this process.
As I struggle with the losses I have been through just this year, I tie in with it the tremendous amount I have gained, through work and new friends I am making, and the last 3 weeks of training before I am a certified Health Coach. Next year will bring many changes for me in a positive and exciting way. This emotional set back and needing some time to photograph images for my book means a delay in publishing until early next year.
We need to remember at times like this that life is large and we are here on earth to help others and leave a good footprint of who we were to the future generations. The newspaper article about how Iggy picked a homeless man off the street and gave him a job and a life is an example we all need to follow. When I grieve my friend, I need to remember his legacy of kindness and providing a helping hand to all who needed it, always with that large smile and positive attitude.
You are probably wondering how this connects as being part of my “welcome to my NY world” blog. Well, Iggy was a huge part of my NY world. For 33 years. My early days off the boat from England were spent in the bar he tended and provided major solace after a long day’s work. The NY bar scene on the upper eastside in the 80’s was full of European transplants trying to find our way on the island of Manhattan. And judging by the 400 or so crowd at his funeral on Wednesday, we have all done well for ourselves on many levels. Reminding me that America is a land filled with opportunities and hope for a bright future.
Today’s recipe is Thai Shrimp Green Curry
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon thai curry paste green
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1lb peeled, deveined shrimp
1 red pepper thinly sliced
large handful of green beans
handful of cilantro
1 lime’s juice
in a large frying pan mix coconut milk with curry paste, simmer for 5 minutes
add fish sauce and maple syrup and simmer for 1 minute
add red pepper and green beans and simmer for 5 minutes
add deveined shrimp and cilantro and lime juice, simmer until shrimp turns pink and serve on rice