The Haze. It’s what I consider the first stage of grief. (I’m guessing you’ve probably heard of the five stages of grief. Well that’s not what I’m talking about. They’re great and you can google them). The Haze is a lot like it sounds. More often than not, you don’t even know you were in it until you’re out of it.
Much like the picture up top, things look clear in your immediate vicinity. But in reality you’re walking in thick mist. You can’t see too far behind or too far ahead. So without knowing it, you base your thoughts and actions on your limited range of sight, which is infused with pain, anguish, and often a strong dash of guilt for good measure. You make questionable choices, like throwing away food when you clearly love food entirely too much to give it up for more than a day.
For those who are on the outside looking in, you may not recognize your grieving person is in it. They may make some random choices that raise your eyebrows once in awhile, but you don’t think too much of it. They show up with one black shoe and one blue shoe on because they were so wrapped in their thoughts they didn’t notice.
How long would you think this stage typically lasts? Unfortunately, a lot longer than one would think or want. People tend to power through the first year of the birthdate, death date, and holidays preparing for them to be hard and painful. The dates are marked on the calendar and people around them show up in various ways.
Then the second year comes along. Not only has most everyone figured the season for grieving has passed, the griever often assumes things won’t be as hard the second time around. Instead, they are hit with the realization… this is the new normal. This is how every holiday and birthday will be, celebrating without the deceased person.
This leaves room for the Lightbulb Moment(s) to arrive. But before I delve into that, for the next few days I’ll share some practical tools and tips both for the grieving person and those supporting the grieving during The Haze.
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