The Five Stages of Grief and Living Through Them

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After I went to my one-week and six-weeks checkups after labor, I reflected on how much my midwife stressed my emotions. Even when I checked in, the automated tablet Jenny’s clinic provided would always pry into the stages of grief I was currently confronting.

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Losing a Child Unexpectedly

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We were prepared to lose Hadassah.

Kenny and I had 16 weeks to prepare our hearts for Hadassah’s death. I’m not sure if you would call that fortunate or not. But the reality is that we could grieve before it actually happened, meaning we could jump back into real life faster.

Many of your stories happened much more quickly. One minute your baby was giggling with that gummy grin and the next you were walking away from his casket at the funeral.

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Peace? After Losing My Child?

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Peace — not the word that I would have used after the loss of my children. Anything but that word actually. Sad, depressed, angry. Those words characterized my every moment.

Eventually, through many discussions with great friends and caring family, I could say that I had a semblance of peace. I could walk into church, crack open my weathered, burgundy Bible, and smile through Pastor’s sermon without an accusing question burning in my mind. That spiritual peace had been restored.

But there is another way that losing a child can destroy confidence: peace in everyday life. In a way, this everyday peace is still a lack of trust in God for me. Sometimes I lie awake at 1 am, my eyes aching for their rest, but I still cannot sleep.

My heart jumps at every sound; my eyes dart to the corner of the room, to the closet, to the curtain softly swaying in the breeze created by the fan. Although I don’t quite panic, still an underlying fear resounds off pitch within me. I try to calm it with stored up Bible verses like Isaiah 26:3-4; sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don’t.

I am working daily to trust that bad things don’t happen every single day to the same people, but I do have to work at it. What about you? Have your experiences destroyed your peace in your everyday life? What have you done to help gain peace again?

by Sarah George