Grieving Is Personal

Grieving is personal. Each individual deals with death and loss in their own way. There is no time limit to it. You merely adjust to a new life, a new normal. I've lost many friends and family, a child, an abusive husband and most recently my father. I write about some below. We all suffer loss and we deal with death differently. There are five to seven stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance +2: Shock and Testing

My hardest loss was that of my son William. He was born June 12, 2000, my 20th week of pregnancy and lived for a half hour in my arms. This was the most difficult loss of my life. I don't wish this on anyone. William would be turning 17yrs old this year. At the time of his death they didn't have an answer. I didn't get my answer until I was pregnant with my son Gavin, who also wanted to deliver early but through great medical care, stays in and out of the hospital (I was high risk and almost died) he lived to full term and is now a fabulous 15yr old freshman in high school. According to my doctor (the head of the high risk unit), he advised me I had an infection in my placenta. It's a super long name that I can't remember to save my life. At least I got an answer. I was so depressed after William's death I couldn't function. On top of which, I had a two year old daughter to take care of. It all seems like a blur. She is now a freshman in college. I think of my William daily and wonder what he would be like had he lived.

February 16, 2015 was another horrible day. That's the day I got the worst call telling me that one of my best friend's Christy died. She died of a brain aneurysm. She was one of my people that I confided in and she in me. There was a special bond that I will always cherish.

Oddly, one week later, my husband and man in my life for 21yrs died in the hospital. Karma caught up to him. He went in with Afib symptoms. They found three clots in his lungs and two in his legs. He was in the hospital for 3 weeks. He suffered. I don't wish what I witnessed on anyone. Ours was a complicated story filled with love, laughter, and domestic abuse. Our kids and I never knew what kind of person we would wake up to each day. I was with him in the hospital the final week of his life. It started with the two of us and ended with the two of us. This is another story for another day. I am open about my journey. If you are in an abusive relationship, please seek help! National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 *Calls are confidential.*

Most recently, I've been on a roller coaster ride of emotions. You see, my dad died January 30, 2017. Even though his death was imminent and expected, it doesn't make it any easier. I was with him when he died. He had his demons as we all do but he was our champion in all things. He believed in us. My dad lived a life! One of the best memories I have is being with him when he met Andy Warhol in NYC. Watching him shake Andy's hand and talk to him briefly was the coolest moment. As for his health, my dad was a walking miracle. He should've died a long time ago but his body said nope! He really should be in the medical journals. Ultimately, he died of renal kidney failure and heart disease. I am grateful for the time we did have. Even though we knew he was dying, the fact that he isn't here anymore is so strange, weird and hard. There are times when I go reach for the phone for advice and I have to stop myself; a memory pops up on Facebook with his picture or a posting about another of his numerous hospital stays; pictures of him with his grandkids, and more. Losing a parent is hard. He isn't suffering or in pain and that makes it somewhat easier but still... So, I take each moment as they come. Some days are easier than others. It's been a little over a month and while my/our new normal is setting in, I have my moments. Today, I feel off and drained. #theycalledhimAl.

I don't know what stage of grief I'm in. Sometimes I think I feel them all at the same time. Why am I sharing all of this? To let you know that you aren't alone in this and to say your grief is real; it's personal. Take care of you. Take the time you need. If you need to talk to someone, please do. Eating whole food, exercise, meditation and writing in a journal helps. Think of all you have to be grateful for. Smile and do good for others. Sing, dance, laugh, love but most importantly... LIVE! Live your dash! Your angels are with you...

 5 Stages of Grief / Kubler-Ross Model / A Personal Story

5 Stages of Grief / Kubler-Ross Model / A Personal Story

 7 Stages of Grief (Modified)

7 Stages of Grief (Modified)