I'm currently roaming the grief cycle. My father is dying, very slowly. One day he was the quirky, strong, disciplinarian that kept me on my toes and worried that I would disappoint him. The next day he didn't know who he was or where he was. My dad has Lewy Body Dementia, an incredibly fast moving dementia. My hope of sharing my future with him are over. He's essentially gone already, but his body is hanging around and his 4 year old behaviors keep his caretakers on their toes for days at a time. It's exhausting and sad.
I've had some experience with grief. Mostly from books and running groups. But I had zero experience with loss at this level. My sister sent me a link with the stages of dying and says that she is recognizing these stages in dad. That's when it hit me over the head like a brick...we are going through the stages of grief! Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. I can say with some certainty that I'm currently jumping between the anger and depression stages. I've even touched down on acceptance a couple times.
I share this regularly here, but this realization was such a gift for me. Once I understand what is happening with my emotions, I'm much less likely to be driven to act on them. I'm less likely to take anger out on someone close to me and I'm less likely to sit in my depression. It's good to remember that just because this is called the grief cycle, it doesn't mean that once you move past one stage you won't go back. I've touched on acceptance a few times during this month, and GOD I wish I could stay there but it's not likely. So for today I'll love on my depression, be super nice to myself, and be ready for what will show up tomorrow.
I love you dad.