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3. Bargaining

My Five Stages of Grief

Katie and I

This stage hasn’t really been a big part of my coping, or healing process with the deaths that I've dealt with.

To explain a little about this stage, it's when you bargain with God, or whoever/whatever you believe in. It’s completely normal and it can be a temporary escape from whatever you're going through. Bargaining is like a period of time where you can get used to reality. It can be a good or bad thing, really.

For example:

  • Mothers that lose a child may bargain that her other children remain safe.
  • The night before my friend Caroline passed, I asked God to take her so she would be out of pain.

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This time though, it was more of me praying to God that he'd take me instead and bring her back. I also asked Him to help Piper during this time but other than that, this stage wasn’t very important for me because God obviously won’t bring her back.

A lot of times for others it’s, “What if I do—will you do—?”

I never really bargained like that or got peace from bargaining. It’s always been please take me and bring them back. I don’t really believe in asking if I can do something for God so He can do something for me in return.

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What’s hard about suicide is that you can’t blame anyone except the one you love. You can’t blame God because really, it wasn’t Him. You can’t blame others because they didn’t do it. However, you can blame people for being the reason why they did it. That’s how it was for me when we lost her. I mainly blamed her ex-boyfriends and my parents for it. It’s just easier to have someone to be mad at because, for me, I wasn’t mad at Katie.

Sometimes I ask him to take all of someone else’s pain off of them and to put it on me. Maybe it’s happened, maybe not. I only know of two for sure things that have happened that I’ve prayed for. I don’t really pray as much as I just talk to Him. I used to just cry and cry and ask:

  • “Why couldn’t it have been me?”
  • “Why did you make her life so hard?”
  • “Why Katie? Why not anyone else?”

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Katie made every room she went into light up. She was always the life of the party. She was nice to everyone. She was an incredible mother/daughter/sister. It upsets me that her life was so awful. I know that she’s finally happy now, which makes me happy.

We all knew that this was bound to happen at some point and sadly, there’s nothing we can do about it anymore. Not even bargaining with God will bring her back.

Bargaining did help me with the healing process though. It helped me realized that there’s nothing I can do. It helped me understand the reality of the situation which I didn’t like or want to do. In the end, though, I realized this stage helped me a lot more than I thought it did. All of these stages have important roles. You have to go through a lot before you can finally get to acceptance, but when you do it is the greatest feeling. The stages suck. They always will and there’s nothing we can do about it. We just have to go through them over and over again until we keep getting to acceptance. It takes a long time to get through a divorce, a death, a breakup, etc., but these stages will always help us a lot more than we could ever think.

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