Updated: Nov 21, 2020
One week before my dad passed away, he was still in the hospital and we were still unsure of his diagnosis but things were not looking too good.
I remember that it was a beautiful summery evening after I had come back from school. After putting down my heavy bags, I speeded to the kitchen looking forward to finally eat. As I was passing my mum's bedroom, on my way to devour a delicious meal, I heard her on the phone to my aunt.
"They think it's cancer."
I proceeded to the living room, put my plate down and looked out of the window at the gleaming sun and green swaying trees. I spent a few minutes thinking about my dad, who at that moment was in the hospital. I remember thinking: no, I doubt it's cancer- it can't be, I doubt dad would ever get cancer. I thought this even though I learned that the doctors, at that point, were pretty sure it was cancer.
What I didn't realise (until recently) was that I started to experience the stages of grief- even before he passed away. Unbeknownst to me, I was experiencing anticipatory grief. I was in denial. But I realised that it was time to take the 'rose-coloured glasses off' and accept that my dad is seriously ill.
I think that it is so important to know and understand the stages of grief, so you can understand what you are feeling and understand that you are 'normal'. At certain points in my grief, I thought something was wrong with me. Why am I feeling this way?
I became frustrated with myself.
The Stages of Grief
It is perfectly normal to experience these stages in different orders or experience them more than once. It is okay and you are not the only one- you are not alone.