My dad was one of the few people who met my son Timmy.
After one of Timmy’s ‘heart attacks’ my dad gently cradled him, took him for a walk and gave him an acorn from one of the trees of Vergelegen Estate. Timmy died a few days later aged two weeks.
Twenty four years later it was his grandson Michael who gently supported my father and walked him slowly from the lunch table on the way back to his home. After that time with my dad I never saw him walk again and in January 2019, a month and a bit later, he died.
The Five Non-Linear Stages of Grief
Elizabeth Kubler Ross devised the five non-linear stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We go back and forward through some or all of these. It took me two years to get to an acceptance of Timmy’s death.
Many people disagree with those stages. The stages I went through with my father’s death were immediate acceptance, relief for him that he was no longer suffering, relief for myself that I no longer had to watch him suffer, and then finally a deep sadness.
I have found myself re-grieving Timmy through my dad dying – wondering whether the two of them have reconnected in the after-life.
Understanding the Dying Process
When my dad was dying, the Wits Hospice, who were fantastic, gave me a link to a book ‘Crossing the Creek‘ by John Holmes which helps people understand the dying process. In his book, Michael Holmes gives a general description of what we can expect to encounter during the dying process as people transition from life into death.
This book really helped give me a sense of peace while being with my father as he died. If you are going through a similar experience, I would urge you to download the free book here: http://www.crossingthecreek.com.