I Didn’t See That Coming!

I didn’t see that coming” is a common phrase said by someone who has been completely blind-sided by the unexpected. In this case, the unanticipated loss of something cherished. It is the mental, psychological and emotional energy created from this loss that forcefully thrusts us into a tailspin of thoughts and emotions we would rather not think and feel!

As humans, we operate as though life is predicable, never thinking that at any moment there could be a huge interruption in it that informs us otherwise. But, what’s really so is this; life is made up of a series of many random events that we have very little conscious control over. Sometimes we go for long periods of time without one unpleasant experience, then… something happens… and maybe we experience a long string of them.

I remember, as a 26 year-old, being hit with the shocking news that I had a brain tumor! “How could that be?” I thought. After a painstaking surgery and tedious recovery, I remember myself proudly saying to someone, “Well, that was a huge thing for someone so young to go through. The odds of something that bad happening again in my life are now quite remote!”… as if life actually cared enough to keep track of the odds!
Of course, despite my confident declaration, I still continued to experience the occasional unexpected “bad” happenings in life, just the same.

But regardless of the odds or degree of “bad” experienced, all loss, however slight or traumatic, is followed by grief to some degree or another. There are many ideas in the world about the grief process; some say there are five stages, others say there are seven stages, and I even found another who said there were eleven stages of the grief process.  But, no matter how many actually stages can be distinguished and identified, I have found that, no matter how you slice it, there are really only two true phases when it comes to loss… resistance and acceptance.