Kübler-Ross model, revisited

There is a direct road between Fürth where I live and Erlangen. The road has a comfortable walkway alongside, with great sights and tons of fresh air, as well as a bike way. You need just a couple of hours to walk or 40 minutes to bike from city center to city center. In the last ten years, I’ve used this road quite a few times, recently even weekly.

In a small area of no man’s land, where Fürth has already ended and Erlangen not yet started, there is a small meadow. On the roadside, two crosses from a simple wood are staying. The one is somewhat larger, another one is very small, in the baby size. The crosses are decorated with artificial flowers and there are two names on them.

During the last ten years I’ve been using this road, I’ve seen quite a lot of changes around those crosses. Old flowers was removed, new flowers was added, a toy windmill was attached, any random garbage was removed, and the surrounding grass was cultivated.

I don’t know whether it is a mother who has lost her children, or a husband who has lost his wife and a child, or may be it is a completely different situation. Fact is, he or she or they are clearly missing their loved ones, and are living like this for at least ten years, may be longer.

I can’t imagine how it is.

Soon it will be two years I’m missing someone. Yes, only two years, but I’m already almost destroyed. I’ve gained weight, and in my room there are some things staying, which I wanted to throw away two years ago, but have never had any motivation or reason to do that since. I’ve started with the Denial stage according to the Kübler-Ross model, which partially lasts until today. I’ve skipped the Anger phase though, only to land directly in the Bargaining. This has lasted for several months, although I wasn’t too creative in thinking of deals with the fate. And then Depression came in, and the real hell begun.

But ten years, or even more! Those people should be completely crazy by now, whoever they are! Either that, or they have found a way to live with it, a way outside of the algorithm defined by Kübler-Ross. According to the model, the grieving must end with acceptance. But they haven’t accepted the death. You just can’t accept the death of the people you love. The on-going care around the crosses is a proof that the names on the crosses are not just combinations of letters, they continue living, even though only in memory.

Apparently, they have found the way to stop grieving, without having to accept the death. And if they could do it, I can do it too. I have it easier. We knew each other for not so long, and the person is not dead by any means, but rather the opposite: happy, successful, and preparing to give birth.

Of course, there is no other way than to part with some my dreams and wishes and to accept that this wonderful life I have imagined for myself will never happen. But, besides of that, there are still the warm feelings, and the uncontrollable smile looking at her pictures, and the admiration, and the deep respect, and gratitude for waking me up, and worries about her and her child, and the readiness to take next possible flight to her if my help is needed… What if it is possible to put all that feelings and longing to a winter sleep? And then to wake them up, when we meet again.

This is the task I’m going to work on.


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