By Amaranthia Gittens-Jones, Guest Blogger
"The five stages - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance - are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief." -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Inevitably, everyone, at one point or the other, has a friend or family member who succumbs to sickness. Unfortunately, this can cause grief, depression, stress, and even anxiety. Sadly, I am learning that it’s not easy to embrace the unknown. Eventually, we all have to come together in our lives to make crucial decisions regarding loss. We ask ourselves: how is this going to be solved?
Since 2011, my grandfather has fallen very ill. It's caused great concern in my life and in my immediate family. It's as if a ton of boulders have fallen onto me personally, yet it's hurting us all. His health has slowly deteriorated, but there’s not much my family can do. My grandmother is taking care of him, making sure he has all he needs, but we are worried about her health as well. The nature of his illness is difficult to understand and leaves me/us feeling powerless. My parents are helping me to deal with and to prepare for whatever is coming, but it is still extremely hard to confront.
How should people deal with grief, especially with an elder family member? I don't think there's an easy answer, but I have been searching for one. For our family, it's been a tough spot; there are not many options for us. Like Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said-we cannot stop grief, but there are tools that can help identify our emotions. In a situation such as this, it’s best to take a look at yourself: how are you handling the situation? As a friend or a family member’s sickness gets worse, you have to take charge of your own health in order to help yourself and others get through the grieving process. This is something I am slowly learning to do. The melancholy news can push you into a never ending black hole. Every day I try to fight against going into this black hole. Whenever the phone rings, I worry there might be bad news about Poppa.
The last time I went to my Grandparents was two years ago. I went biking with my Dad, Grandpa, and my friend at a trail I’ve gone to since I was little. We were about to start biking when out of the blue I saw a radiant, red fox chasing a young deer at the opening of the trail. My Grandpa and I were the only ones fortunate enough to see it. I’ve always been a spiritual person, and I love the spiritual meaning of wild animals from different cultures, so I decided to look up the meaning.
Interestingly, in certain parts of Asia, the fox is seen as a messenger of the afterlife. I immediately felt that I was being sent a message about how I should deal with my Grandpa’s illness. After I saw the fox, I felt like everything would be okay. Since then, my Grandpa’s illness has gotten worse, but I feel that seeing the striking red fox two years ago is a moment I’ll cherish of my Grandfather when he is gone. Extraordinary moments like those with loved ones turn into unique memories that’ll last, even when that person hass left this world. I will forever hold on to that amazing split second with my Grandpa as the unknown unfolds.
Let's chat! Have you ever experienced a loved one going through an illness? How did you cope with the difficulty? What advice do you have for others going through the same? Share with us here.
Amaranthia Sepia Gittens-Jones is homeschooled 15 year old. She aspires to be a comic book and graphic artist. Her goal is to finish her graphic novel/fantasy novel ‘Whimsy’ by the end of high school and to become a successful writer and artist.
My Interview with Craft Gossip Magazine http://indiecrafts.craftgossip.com/2015/05/05/interview-with-amasepiachan-artworks/ Twitter: @foxesandthings
image by Amaranthia titled "The Unknown"