Stages of Grief…

Grief in it many forms

It seems that I am now in some new stage of grief from my wife’s recent death. It has been two months today that she drew her last breath. I think up till now I have just been consumed with all the many things that have to happen after a spouse passes to really have time to mourn. Lately, I seem to be getting very emotional. That is what this post is all about.

The picture to the right is kinda what I see grief to be like. My brain has been going a hundred-miles-an-hour for months now, and it says it’s time to rest. It just can’t go that fast anymore. So, something has to happen.

I know there are five well-known stages of grief that supposedly everyone goes through, but since I am anything but normal in the rest of my life, why should I expect to follow that pattern? Maybe I have just been too numb to feel anything up till now.

One of the staff of my new retirement community home recently gave me a pamphlet about grieving. It mentions that we hurt because we feel sorry for ourselves, not negatively, but still in a selfish way. Grief starts with a state of shock that numbs us to almost everything around us. When that shock wears off, then real grief begins. The amount of time for that to happen varies from person to person. I think my shock period is just about over now and grieving is about to begin. It seems like almost everything puts me near tears now. Even things that have nothing to do with my loss become emotional events. I have been deaf for thirty-three years now and, before that, I was a big lover of folk music. I played the guitar and knew a lot of the folk songs from the 1960s.

I recently was at an event here in my retirement community where a person was playing an acoustical instrument similar to a guitar. That brought back memories that seemed to flood my senses. I grieve that I no longer can remember what any musical instrument sounds like. But, I knew from experience that I can get a sense of the sound if I can lay a hand on the instrument and feel the “sound”. I asked permission to do just that, and after a couple of minutes I broke into tears, lamenting my loss of music. That was a grief for me that I seldom allow to come to the surface.

I think this may be the point where grief really happens. Lord help me keep it together if it is. They say putting thought to paper helps the grieving process, so maybe these posts will do the trick for me?

At the end of the pamphlet previously mentioned was a list of “Do’s” and “Don’t’s”. It seems that I have already done most of the “Don’t’s” and just a few of the “Do’s”. Maybe that is a harbinger of things to come? All I can do is to let this stuff play out and hope I come out the other end with my sanity still intact.

10 thoughts on “Stages of Grief…

  1. It is not easy to share such feelings. It goes against out natural instinct to feel in control at all times.

    A virtual hug from me to you, RJ. You are a strong man who will weather this storm in your life.


    1. A hug, virtual or otherwise, is something I need right now. Thank you for that. Yeah, feeling in control is a strong part of my life, that is missing now, but in reality, maybe I never really had it in the first place.


  2. Many hugs ((((( RJ )))))
    I’m not an expert on grief – I don’t think any of us are – but sharing our experience is something we can all do. It doesn’t matter about following the Do’s and the Don’t’s – now is a time to let your grief unravel in a way unique to you . . . all the different emotions and all those tears. Hold nothing back. My own experience relates to when my first husband died and I remember that very real physical pain in my heart. I thought it would never pass. I’m guessing this is what you may be feeling right now. Be very kind to yourself.


  3. p.s. I found it interesting what you said that, despite you being deaf, you can ‘feel’ the sound. I lost my sense of smell a few years ago due to a respiratory condition. I miss not being able to smell many scents such as flowers, newly cut grass, the peaty forest floor after rain, etc. Yet, I can somehow ‘imagine’ those scents and it feels real. It’s amazing how our brain works!


  4. I discovered that I can still “hear” acoustical instruments some years ago. That keeps me at least a little attuned to the hearing world. Music was an important part of my life that is greatly missed, especially when I realized that I can’t remember what musical instruments sound like anymore. 😪

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very powerful writing. Thank you RJ. My nephew passed away in February. Watching my sister walk through the grief is tough. This gave a bit of insight.


Share Your Thoughts..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s