I've hit the fourth stage

by Linda
(Gosport, Hampshire, UK)

Already I feel better. Having found this site, and reading the 'seven stages of grief' I realise I've hit the fourth stage, the one of deep despair, withdrawal,and hopelessness, with an almighty bang.

It even mentions that this stage often happens about eight months after the bereavement, which is where I find myself now. My wonderful man died on January 5th 2010, after forty years of togetherness.

He'd already been suffering from ill health for about five years before being diagnosed with lung cancer in January 2008. I think I started the grieving process the day he was diagnosed. Not that I showed that to him or the rest of the world. In fact many of our friends and family were shocked when they realised the seriousness of his illness, as apparently I'd been telling everyone he was fine, with a smile on my face.

I cannot believe, how, all these months down the line, I've suddenly collapsed, emotionally, as well as physically. Being a small business owner, which brings me my only form of income, even during the very worst days of his illness, and subsequently his death, I managed to keep the business going.

I'm sure there were people who thought I was cold and heartless, but I know deep down it was my way of coping.

Now I'm not coping. I cry continuously, I cannot face people, not even my own family; and as for my business, well, I haven't made a business call for two weeks.

But that's ok. The worst that could possibly happen to me has already happened, eight months ago, and now I just have to get through this stage of my grief, as best I can.

Comments for I've hit the fourth stage

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Aug 14, 2010
fourth stage
by: Anonymous

I feel your pain - but my fourth stage hit me at the 5 - 6 month mark - meltdown with a vengeance!!! I had had some grief counselling, and was keeping myself busy, friends, work etc etc - but what got me was booking myself into hospital for a minor procedure - I was on my own - ok had my daughter around, but it is just not the same, we had been and done everything together for 42 years - I felt like I had lost an arm or leg.

Anyway, knew I had to cope, so off to doctor, mild pills, just took the edge off, able to cope, still incredibly sad, think I will be for life, but I am the sort of person who needs to "cope", that's who I am, so pills helped, weaned myself off after two months, feeling ok. Just travelled interstate to a friend's 60th birthday, big test, thought it was going to be a big party, but my very good friends probably realised I would feel it more, so we had a dinner party for the nine of us - it was fantastic, just felt that he was there with me, laughing as we always did with the gang - so maybe that was a further forward step, hope so.

My John died suddenly last November, so nine months in now, and more good days than bad now, and I know I CAN DO IT!!
Keep on keeping on ----


Aug 14, 2010
You just have to ride the rollercoaster
by: Judy

Like you , my darling has been gone 8 months. It is as bad, or possibly worse now, because the protective shell of shock is gone and there is no supportive group of family and friends around you trying to make it better. I have experienced the same as you, confusion, despair, hopelessness this past few weeks.

Yesterday I was standing at the ironing board ironing my pants for work and letting my mind wander back to Barry and realized that I had done the whole job with the iron unplugged! I'm just not myself again. I continue to have these feelings of despair even though I've accomplished some financial goals in terms of loan modifiction and paying off a car, and have some tiny measure (very tiny) of financial security. I'm just irritable, lonely and unhappy. We have to just hang on and believe the roller coaster will take us up again. Hang on!

Aug 13, 2010
The Downward spiral
by: Hope


I can relate to what you wrote about being an 8th monther myself. I lost My Love 12/06/09 and find this last month to be harder NOT easier.
Pelted with memories. Trying to just get past the day. Not quite understanding why it's so bad this late in the game. I should get back to the recover-from-grief stages that I have not looked at in months. I also have the wonderful recover-from-grief book that I highly recommend.
I wish I could make it all better, I wish I could advise you with some great coping skills. Being strong all that time through his illness, and following death little over a year later. I find my self weaker, not stronger as of late.
I have not denied the grief process nor detained it. Good and bad days like life's roller coaster.
wishing you well and stronger days...HH

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