By Roni Wing Lambrecht, Special for TDB.
When I lost my son, Dalton, I decided to read every book about grief that had ever existed, thinking the books would somehow have the answers on how to move through the rest of my life. I did my best to practice all the grieving techniques shared in the books, but not one of them could simply walk me through a new “normal” day; how to get out of bed, how to shower and brush my teeth, how to get dressed and remember to eat, how to communicate with others, how to go back to work, and how to go on without my only child. In all reality, the books led me to more sadness. I was often questioning whether or not I was grieving properly
because I was/wasn’t going through something the books said I would.
And, then I came across one of the most famous books known to the general public about the
five stages of grief.
In this particular book, the authors explain how patients dealing with a
terminal illness go through five stages of grief known as Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining, and Acceptance. I read it all the way through, thinking my misunderstanding was ignorance, but then, my grief counselor asked me what stage I thought I was in, and I nearly lost my mind. I tried to explain to her that the five stages had nothing to do with what I was going through, and she calmly explained to me, “the five stages have become industry standard when dealing with grief and loss.” She persisted in asking what stage I was in. I explained to her that there are NOT five stages; there are hundreds!!!!! I was suicidal, numb, in shock, struggling to breathe, depressed, full of anxiety, in denial and acceptance, reckless, bargaining with the universe to just bring Dalton back (I would do ANYTHING). I was even justifying his death with crazy thoughts of bad decisions I’d made somewhere in my past, mad and laughing at the grief counselor like a silly freak, feeling like I needed to help others steer clear of this insanity, yet feeling entitled to whatever I wanted or needed because I had given the ultimate sacrifice, scared that I would have to live without him, and on and on and on. ALL OF THESE FEELINGS WERE HAPPENING ALL AT ONCE!!!!! How could she think I could pick just one?
community to have latched on to such a ludicrous idea still makes my blood boil.
So, here’s my take on those suffering with grief…
For the grief
There’s no overcoming it. There’s no easy fix. And there certainly are NOT five stages of grief that define any one person! Additionally, I have found that reading books on grief was forcing me to focus on my grief. My best advice for someone grieving would be to steer clear of reading about it. I am also a firm believer in keeping busy, helping others, and spending time
being grateful for the time I did have with my son.
Submitted by Roni Lambrecht
Bio for Roni Wing Lambrecht:
Life teaches us all many lessons, some more than others. Since losing their only child, Roni & her husband have learned what it takes to forge ahead and find new purpose in life; helping others to improve their lives by enhancing their focus on what is actually important; their children and other loved ones.
Roni’s books, Parenting At Your Best and A Parent’s Guide for Journaling to Their Child are a tribute to their son, Dalton, with anticipation that the stories and advice they offer will inspire others to excellence in their parenting.
Books available on Amazon or at www.ParentingAtYourBestWithoutRegrets.com.