In Elizabeth Kubler-Ross‘ book, “On Death and Dying“, she identified five stages that a dying patient experiences when informed of their terminal prognosis.
The stages Kubler-Ross identified were:
- Denial (this isn’t happening to me!)
- Anger (why is this happening to me?)
- Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…)
- Depression (I don’t care anymore)
- Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes)
While Dr. Roberta Temes in the book, “Living With An Empty Chair – a guide through grief.” Temes describes three particular types of behavior exhibited by those suffering from grief and loss. They are:
- Numbness (mechanical functioning and social insulation)
- Disorganization (intensely painful feelings of loss)
- Reorganization (re-entry into a more ‘normal’ social life.)
I guess my initial response to the new predicament is somehow mixed and accelerated. I tried to deny first, but being someone with a science background (I hold a degree in science majoring in physics and could be a physicist if I chose to). I knew the doctor is doing the best prognosis based on his trained discipline and experience. I was at a specialist hospital anyways.
There was no anger. But a deep feel of question. Why me? Why must this happen when I’m at the fifth gear of my life. I was cruising nicely and accelerating career wise. Is this just plainly put as, my early earthly retribution?
Numbness, yes. A hard layer of shell consisted of my smiling face and conjoint with my technical questioning to the doctor, (What is my expectation, how long do I need to be on MC, how’s the treatment like, what’s next, what is the name of the disease again, etc). Useful actually when you are coming out of the doctor’s room and other patients looking at you, probably betting on some dramatic exit from the doctor’s room.
Bargaining? I think the bidding has ended when the doctors presented me with the reports and verbal news. In fact during the whole night before A Day and until the breaking news, it was all bargaining between me and god.
Now, a month after the A Day, I see clearly on how I managed the depression and grief.
While waiting for the prognosis, my du’a to God was mainly consisted of “Please God, please MAKE the results as negative. Please MAKE the doctor say “it’s nothing serious and Zul, you only need to take this medicine and you’ll be well.” …. I promise I’ll be a better person later.”
Then it goes to, ” Dear God, please help me heal, I don’t want to be out of action (working and living) for more than 3 months”
Weeks passed by and the mode has changed ” Dear God, I accept this reminder that you have given me. And I am at peace. Please heal me.”
Then it changed dramatically. Relating to a talk by Dan Gilbert and Barry Schwartz both at TED events. The first titled ” Why are we happy why aren’t we happy” and the latter “The paradox of choice“. In summary both narrows down to the concept of human beings able to simulating and perceiving happiness, and how we human is more acceptable for situations where we don’t have a choice and in fact forced us to be happier for the things that we cannot change.
My du’as now basically architectured around “Dear god, I accept the reminder and I THANK YOU. But I still want to heal, please MAKE my healing brisk and easy. Please eliminate the disease, the pain and the fear. You are the owner of this whole universe. You are the most loving, you are the supreme giver and taker. ”
Now why do I say thank you? I am beginning to see a lot of things that was not clear and appreciated previously. Thing’s that might be hijabed, a sign from a god or just basically what I’d like to called, destined as fate. Well, that will be another chapter to tell.