The Stages of Grief – Guilt

Depending on your resources, there are 5 – 7 stages of grief.  The core of the stages are:

1.  Shock/Denial/Isolation

2.  Pain/Anger/Guilt

3.  Bargaining

4.  Depression

5.  Acceptance

It has been 19 days since my mom died.  12 days since we buried her.  The last couple of weeks were surprisingly easy for me.  Remember my “I’m OK” post?  I was truly OK.  I felt sad, but calm.  I experienced none of the bitter anger I felt when we lost D’s mom.  I cried, but I didn’t feel the unbearable pain, the kind that leaves your breathless for a moment.  I had moved into Acceptance pretty quickly.

Having gone through the various stages with my mother-in-law’s death, I was grateful to not go through it again.  I was surprised, but I wasn’t about to complain.  I figured because I got to tell my mom I loved her one last time, to say my good-bye and because I was able make my peace before she passed, all that pushed me right into acceptance.

Well, I must have actually been in the denial stage.  Today, I woke up to a stong feeling of guilt.  I still don’t feel the searing anger and pain, but I feel a brick load of guilt.

I had a dream last night where I got to my mom earlier.  I was able to make my soups and savory stews.  I was able to coax her into eating.  She got stronger.  It didn’t change her lung cancer diagnosis, but she was able to sit up.  Talk.  Laugh.  Chastise me for being sad and crying.

I don’t know why things happen, but I’m clinging to the hope that things happen with purpose.  Because without a purpose, I’ll keep wondering why I didn’t go to see my mom as soon as heard she wasn’t feeling well.  Or when I heard she was only eating a few spoonfuls.  Or when I heard she lost a lot of weight.  I don’t know if I listened to the right extinct.  I don’t know if anything would have made a difference.  I just don’t know.

So, today, I’m not doing OK.

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