Stages

Denial. 
Anger. 
Bargaining. 
Depression. 
Acceptance.

The stages of grief.  
The stages that once all are completed, everything is better.

In almost 5 years since our daughter died,  I have stepped and paused on each and every stage. 
Several times. In no order, but they’ve all been met,fought with on occasions. 
Most people know the stages,  and in the beginning in my head, with all the time healing quotes,  the obsession of time I had as the weeks rolled by I would attempt to tick the words off the list in my head.
Denial – ✅ 
Anger –  ✅ 
Bargaining –  ✅ 
Depression – ✅ 
Acceptance – ✅

All completed.  

Only something would happen, a trigger, a thought; then one of the stages would hit again.  Not all at once or again in any order. 

I’m currently in yet another run up to a birthday without the birthday girl, the remembrance weeks of when she was alive, and real, then of course the anniversary. 
Each of the above arrive in waves, each wave named after each of the grief sections. 
Looking through photos of her, which isn’t something I do often, maybe for a project or, well I don’t really need to justify myself the times I do, I can’t quite get to grips with how she died, this baby, tiny little baby who gave us a smile, fed, pooed..how she just died. 
It isn’t about acceptance or a denial thing, lets face it none of the five titles really are equipped to be included in baby/child loss. 
I know she isn’t ever coming home, that she is dead, we all wish that weren’t true. It is comprehending such a thing happening. 
Even now, looking at her photos, I still cannot believe this happened to us. 
Yet you still get people say “It happens for a reason.” 
I think this is probably where the anger part comes in to play. 
Every year these run ups to dates bring the waves, since the turn of the year, I’ve hit a couple of them, I’ve now come to realise that this time of year is difficult, how can it be anything but? 
Some waves are rougher than others, nothing it seems is going to change that. 
For me the firsts were extremely painful, full of overwhelming ‘what the fuck just happened’s’?
 The firsts are the worst bit. But then it turns into the seconds, when you can no longer include them in the year, or say “This time last year.” 
The moving on of folk who offered mere condolences, life goes on. 
The stages for those who don’t feel the full ripple effects, can be ticked off the list. 
It is time to move on, “it’ll only make you sad…” Another of those beautiful quotes. 
I’ve found time hasn’t healed a thing, having spoke to others they feel the same too. Hitting this 5th year has floored me somewhat, it is such a significant number, I just didn’t realise just how important the 5th year would be. 
I’m back to the feelings of
 Denial. 
Anger. 
Bargaining. 
Depression. 
Acceptance.
Stroppy Bitch Syndrome,
Too many time limits.  Too many tick lists.
I’ve added one..
That’s me, around the same time each year, I guess there comes a point where I just can’t tolerate, little annoyances,that are probably not even that annoying.
Patience is incredibly thin.

It is such a hard thing to explain why.  Watching friends’ children turn the age ours should have done, it is such a happy event,  but it is so bittersweet,  filled with many emotions and thoughts.
Buying flowers for a child,  cards that will never be read.
It isn’t surprising that I end up with stroppy bitch syndrome.
But I do hate the feeling too. But I know once the heaviness of the next few months lighten, then my patience expands more.

There is certainly no black and white when it comes to the stages of grief, they certainly don’t disappear once you’ve completed them.  Let’s be honest they’re not exactly an accurate quide, or at least for me I don’t think it is.
These waves are crushing don’t let me paddle alone.  I don’t want to drown. 

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