Sunday, March 4, 2012

the Grief Spiral?

Okay, so I "shared" a picture from one of my FB friends onto my FB wall the other day, that generated a good discussion on grief.  Here is the pic above...I hope you can see the details... it is the stages of the grief cycle.  And I think to those who may not have experienced a loss, or even may have had for lack of a better word, a "minor" loss in their lives, if such exists, this may make sense.  But it seems the consensus that even this twisting "ribbon" is too "neat."  And that was my feeling as well.  On the ICAN Loss and Recovery yahoo group which I help monitor and post, we've actually talked a lot about how messy our grief is.  It's been described as a "rollercoaster" but with a lot more upside down loops that make you sick.  But more than that, the word that comes up is a "spiral."  There is no one size fits all.  Each of our own "rungs" in the spiral look different.  One said they experienced a lot of hyperactivity, perhaps a type of "denial" or coping mechanism.   Another said they seemed to stay longer in the angry phase, or the blame and guilt, and then moved on to the "meaningful life" stage where they've maintained for a while.  But no matter how much time had passed, and how much "meaningful" life they had achieved, ....there were always still surprise loops that would pop up, such as a day with many "triggers" or a particularly important date or year or "milestone" that didn't get achieved.  And maybe even a stage that got bypassed, and so later surprisingly sprung up, needing to be addressed.  Well, at least this is what the consensus seems to be, and what my experience is, just 6+ years out from my loss of Noah.  Like I said, I think it probably looks different for every single person...but here is an example of what mine MIGHT look like, though I'm not even sure this does it justice....

I'll leave it to another post to talk about HOW one SHOULD or "should" grieve.  For some reason, the song comes to mind, "Hide it under a bushel, NO!  I'm gonna let it shine."  Or let it burn is more like it.


  1. Amanda,

    I didn't see your grief discussion on FB. I imagine it was a great opportunity for those grieving to share. Also, it would have given those who have no idea about grief some understanding of what we have gone through.

    Those triggers you mentioned: I am always surprised how grief can return and be so painful, even years later, when certain dates appear on the calendar.

    God bless!

  2. Thanks for commenting Sue! :) I am trying to get back to blogging, but I feel so inadequate. I want to be a writer, always have, but feel so lacking. We shall see.... I'm afraid of putting myself out there. Even when I think "Be Not Afraid", I wonder "should I?"

    1. Writing is risky. I have found that to connect with others, I have to be honest and open and that can be very difficult at times. I sometimes have to share feelings that I am inclined to keep inside of me. But I have also found sharing is very rewarding. Readers have been so very kind to me and very encouraging. So keep writing, Amanda! You don't know the good you could be doing. And even writing just for ourselves is a very joyful and fulfilling experience.

      God bless!

  3. Hi, Mandy -

    I love your illustration of grief. I always feel like the spiral is too "neat" and in reality, it feels a little more like this. Would it be okay if I shared this on my blog and gave you credit for it?

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your little ones. I'm grieving a few babies myself and finding it harder than I ever imagined it could be, especially with other little ones to care for.

    God bless you.