Saturday, February 6, 2010

Kubler-Ross Missed a Stage or two.

Years ago a therapist suggested that with MS each decline, physical loss, pain episode and other changes in MS's bag of tricks will trigger a new, completely separate, journey through the Five Stages of grief. So, as a season ticket holder on the MS roller coaster, with its hair-raising turns and stomach tumbling twists, I could expect to live life in a never ending state of grief. 
The comforting thing about Kubler-Ross's stages are that they have a beginning and an end. That means that at X point tragedy strikes and as time and circumstances permit, one could claw their way through a process. Might take 2 months or 45 years, but it would have stages...It is difficult to put into words, for I am in no way suggesting that a singular tragedy can be tidily broken down into discrete chunks or manageable chapters. All I am trying to say is that if the supposition is true that every MS loss starts a new journey through grief, I live in a kaleidoscope of grief stages that have no beginning, middle, or end. A compost pile of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, or acceptance.
Today's Bizarro Comic shows a person having a pie fight with the grim reaper and the caption reads:
Last Stage of Grief: Comedy
What a fabulous idea, rather than being caught spinning in an infinite web of Kubler-Ross's devising, I add to and embellish as I fit. Other stages I propose are:

  • Irony {a state of affairs that appears perversely contrary to what one expects} What am I doing sitting on the floor in front of the toilet?
  • Discombobulation {thrown into confusion} where am I, how did I get here, and didn't I know how to do this, like five minutes ago
  • Phooey {disdain or disbelief} expletive, expletive, expletive, followed by childlike wonder at how quickly a glass of water can slip through a hand.
  • Droll {amusing in a strange or quaint way} keep watching me, I might do a trick-as my body moves to its own drummer, or feeling like an unwilling participant in a freak show
I will keep considering others that occur on this journey. Let me know if any occur to my friends and family who are reading along with me in this fight.


Peace Be With You said...

I had written about this very same topic when I first started blogging so I went back to reread it and quickly determined that your version was so far superior to mine. Why? Because you used that master slayer of grief - humor. Wonderful post!

Janine said...

Posted for my bro-in-law:
I like today's blog. Good One!

Bibliotekaren said...

Great additions to the grieving "steps". I honor Kubler-Ross' work -- she was amazing how she spoke out in the 60s about the patients dying silently, in pain, and unacknowledged in hospitals. However, I think her steps of grief have been way oversimplified and often misapplied. As you pointed out, loss comes in many multi-layered forms and with subtle nuances. Although the pie slinging addition might not be so subtle. I like!

Stuff could always be worse said...

Great the way you spelled out the steps of grief, the best I have read.