“I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die… What’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?”
During the fourth stage, the person begins to understand the certainty of the situation. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the person to disconnect oneself from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed. Also referred to as preparatory grieving. In a way it’s the dress rehearsal or the practice run for the ‘aftermath’ although this stage means different things depending on whom it involves. It’s a sort of acceptance with emotional attachment. It’s natural to feel sadness and regret, fear, uncertainty, etc. It shows that the person has at least begun to accept the reality. This is when it sinks in there’s no going back to this man and that the man you loved never existed. You mourn the loss of time and the abuse you tolerated. You direct the anger at yourself and feel stupid for being with him and fear getting into another relationship, lest you become involved with another man just like him. Like the Anger stage, you don’t want to get stuck here either. Feeling sadness over this relationship is natural, but don’t let your experience with this man distort how you view all relationships. Not all men are like him and, if you can feel the painful and difficult feelings that ending this relationship brings up, you’ll get through it.
If I can just feel the painful and heartwrenching feelings that the end of this “relationship” have forced out of my gaping chest wound, then I will get through it. Words to cling to and hang my hat on.
I’m getting there. There. That place of acceptance that tells me that I have found the reality of the situation and looked it squarely in the eye without flinching. No longer lying in bed sobbing for the loss of my “normal”. No longer in fear for my kids and I’s safety – emotional or physical.
It’s been a slow, tumultuous trip so far and one that is far from done. New temporary hearing. Mediation. Trial. That’s a lot more grief to go through to reach the path of acceptance and freedom.
I better pack a bigger bag.