10/10/12

Grief

     I had an epiphany a few weeks ago. It just hit me out of the blue while driving down the road. The Kübler-Ross stages of grief and the fact that if you have a child with a chronic illness you never complete the cycle. The theory behind the stages of grief is that a person will usually cycle through the stages during a time of intense grief, maybe even visiting some more than once, and eventually coming to the acceptance stage where the cycle will end. As a nurse, we are taught about the stages and how the normal human psyche responds in each stage. We are taught how to deal with patients and their families in each stage, how to help them cope and move through the stages until they reach the acceptance stage.  My nursing education did not prepare me for having a child with a chronic illness. I have found myself in all of the stages, over and over, for four years. Here are the stages:

  • Denial - even now, when my son has many days in a row of almost perfect days my heart says, "did we get this wrong"?, "maybe the doctors missed the diagnosis since they are only human too". If I reach down below my mama heart, my nurse heart tells me the truth, that yes, the doctors got it right. He has all the signs and symptoms and his numbers tell the story. But mama always trumps nurse.
  • Anger - it was actually a couple of years into the diagnosis before I really dealt with this one. I kept telling myself that never could I be mad at God, because He is good. And then one day I found myself asking Him, why? And I had to just let it out before the Lord. He knew my heart, even that part that I had hidden so well that even I did not realize I was angry. But I was. And it broke my heart to think that I could be angry at God. But I told Him and he loved me anyway.
  • Bargaining - I have deep in my spirit told the Lord that I will take on my son's illness. This was a stage I never thought I would go through either. I believe in the sovereignty of God. I believe in His providence. And yet, I found myself in this stage, almost begging God to take it away from him and give it me.
  • Depression - I have never been a depressed person, but have had significant issues with it since the diagnosis. My husband has as well. Neither of us were depressed people before this time. It was just not something we struggled with. Now, I know the pain and sadness of depression and how it can affect a person's life and family. I know it all too well.
  • Acceptance - This is where you finally accept the situation and move on. I think we do this most days! But every now and then, I find myself wandering back into one of the other stages. I wonder if I will ever be able to complete the acceptance stage and move on?
I am so thankful that God has been patient and loving with me as I travel back and forth between these stages. Life has never been the same since diagnosis day, I suppose it will never go back to what it was. So we try our best to live in acceptance and to trust and give God the glory in this thing and praying we honor Him in how we handle it all.

~Paige

1 comment:

victoria said...

Paige, you are beautiful and your heart for God shines through in all you do. I am so proud of you for how you are raising your children. I will keep praying for you, and I know complete acceptance will come! I have trouble handing things over to Him and leaving them there. I love you lady! Praying for this journey!