No one likes death. Even though it’s simply a transference of the Spirit from one realm to another, that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. What’s even worse than death is an unexpected death. The removal of someone from your life in, what has been called, “an untimely manner.” This type of death leaves you asking a million questions, the main one being, “Why?”
Here’s the thing though. Death isn’t always the absence of life in the body. Sometimes, it can be the absence of life in other areas as well. Last year was full of unexpected deaths for me, but I’m not talking about the death of a loved one (although that, too, struck a strong chord with me). I’m referring to the death of relationships: three to be exact. And every single one was unexpected in it’s timing, process, and outcome.
Who were these relationship deaths? *breaths* The death of the man I was in love with. The death of my marriage (no, it wasn’t the same person…soon you’ll understand). Finally – and probably the most painful – the death of my best friend. All of these relationships ended within months of each other. It felt like I was spiraling out of control. Hindsight can be 20/20 at times. Right now, this is as clearly as I can see – we’ll call it 15/20 – because I’m not done grieving yet.
So how did I deal with these deaths?! Well, at the time I was all over the place – or so I thought. Today, I realized I had been going through the grieving stage – and didn’t even know it. There are five main stages of grief (along with sub-stages) that I went thought…and none of them were fun.
Denial: Nah, this wasn’t really happening. I wasn’t being choked in my own bedroom by my ex-husband in front of my son. He was just stressed. I wasn’t still in love with a man that said he loved me, but wasn’t ready to commit. I broke that feeling years ago. Our bond was 20 years solid…she didn’t just abandon me like that. It was the wedding and school stress that caused her disappearance. I made an excuse for every single demised relationship. I blamed it on schedules, mind games, mercury retrograde…you name it, I faulted it. I faulted everything except the parties involved. I mean, things happen and soon we’d get it together…right? Wrong! That man I was so madly in love with…can’t even return an email. The ex-husband who wanted to “work it out?” I guess he decided I’d be better off dead. And my best friend of 20 years? Well, I guess that’s not long enough for loyalty.
ANGER: Oh, I was mad! BIG MAD!!! How could I commit so much of myself for so long only to reap nothing in return? How was I so stupid to believe that my marriage was real, or that “he” was the one, or that the way I treated and supported her would be returned when the shoe was on the other foot? How could they all abandon me like that, leaving me in a dust pile of nothingness, covered in scars, blood, and tears – and not even say they were sorry? And how could I let them? Where was my self-respect? How did I not see this coming? Why were they placed on pedestals while I was merely an option in a cabinet? He told me he wasn’t ready. Why did I fall in love with him anyway? He told me he was from the streets. What made me think he would be a good husband? I was always – ALWAYS – there for her. Where in the hell was she when I needed her?
Depression: If I wasn’t so against medication I’d probably be on every psych pill known to man. This shit hurt, I mean HURT! This wasn’t a one night stand, or a 6 month boy toy, or a casual chick I’d hang out with if I was super bored. This guy was the epitome of everything I wanted in a man. This man was the one I committed myself to in front of a judge AND God…after driving NINE HOURS to get to him! This was a 20 year friendship filled with kids, birthday parties, clubbing nights, hospital visits, and family connections. These weren’t just everyday people. These were individuals that had my heart…my SOUL! Casual acquaintances be damned…these three meant EVERYTHING to me and left me feeling like I meant NOTHING to them! No amount of cake, music, or clinical therapy in the world could take the pain I was feeling – and am still feeling – away.
Bargaining: Talk about making deals with – nope…I’m not going to say it. But I will say this is my current stage…yet within the last few days it’s flipped. At first, I was thinking of reaching out to these people – well, everyone except my ex-husband. He can go f**k himself! But I wanted to reach out to the man I loved and see if maybe, just maybe, we could be friends. I mean, sure he may still not be ready, but we can be friends…right? I was thinking about reaching out to my ex-best friend. Maybe it really was the stress of school and the wedding. Maybe she didn’t know what to say or how to say it. Maybe she tried – she really tried – but she just couldn’t come out and say what she really wanted to say. I battled with my mind and my ego back and forth on this for weeks. The holidays – ugh – they were the worst! It just wasn’t the same.
And then it hit me…the bargaining isn’t about getting back with them; it’s about getting back on track.
That’s where I am right now. I’m no longer trying to find ways or excuses to rekindle dead relationships. I’m no longer beating myself up for trusting individuals. I’m no longer playing “victim” nor “survivor.” I’m simply trying to find a way to move on in life without them. I’m finding ways to heal from the hurt. I’m finding a purpose for the pain. I’m making a deal with myself to be a better version of myself.
What’s after this? The final stage: Acceptance.
No, I’m not completely there yet, and that’s okay. These stages bleed into one another. So I guess you can say I’m at a healthy 4.7; still bargaining, but I have pretty much accepted the fact that I may never see nor hear from these individuals again. It used to hurt, but I’ve been though that. I was mad about it, but I’ve been though that. I was sad about it, but I’ve been though that. Now it’s time to get real about it. Their season is over in my life. My season is over in their life. No one is any more right or wrong than anyone else. Who knows, they may feel a certain type of way about me. If that’s the case, and on the rare chance they’re actually reading this, I apologize. Nothing was intentional; it was simply the actions of a broken person, not an evil spirit. I’ve learned and grown from it and I pray that you have, too.
The reason why I’m sharing this with you is two-fold. First, I need an outlet. Since I have no BFF anymore – outside of my Misfits – there’s no one I trust enough to vent to that could handle it. It’s part of my bargaining stage: to face what was, what is, and what is soon to be. I’m okay with that. The second reason is because as a coach this is what I help other women overcome. I didn’t have anyone to hold my hand through my stages. I want to be that hand for the next person…as a support system…without judgment or belittlement. I’m not a therapist, nor do I want to be. All they do is ask a bunch of repetitive questions based on the past. No real, current healing can begin that way. (Not knocking therapists…but from experience it just didn’t work from me).
Grieving can cause road blocks that prevent you from living, laughing, and Loving again. It’s imperative to get back to life after death. You may not know how…but I do, and I’m here to help you. What are you grieving in your life? How are you handling it? What stage are you in? (If you say none it’s denial! LOL! I KID!) No matter what life used to knock you down, no matter what relationship, opportunity, or career path has died, you can recover and you can move on.
Leave your story below. Inspire someone else. Need more help, guidance, or clarity? Contact me at www.isyspublications.com/contact.
It’s time to get back to YOU again!