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.








4 comments:

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!
Judy

Janine said...

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

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.
kim