I was 17 when my mom died after a 5-year battle with breast cancer. It was one of those “expected but not expected” scenarios.
One day she was at work, and the next her doctor told us the stage 4 metastatic breast cancer had consumed her liver and she had less than 3 weeks.
Three weeks ended up being less than 24 hours.
We live in a beautiful world, but tragedy seems to be around the corner or in our face (i.e. screen) every day. And especially now, during a global pandemic, we’re all losing something. A person. A job. A relationship. A sense of normalcy. Security. We are all dealing with grief in different forms.
Life and death are often right next to each other. The death of an organ donor who provides the miracle for a person in need. An elated family with a newborn in a hospital while a patient slips away from cancer one floor below.
It’s impossible to separate the sad, tragic parts of life from the beautiful moments.
But I believe both need a voice. If we try to simply “get over” our pain or “move on” from difficult emotions, we’re ignoring part of what it means to be human. Grieving a loss is important.
Jesus, knowing he could and would raise Lazarus from the dead, stopped and WEPT over his friend’s passing. He took time to grieve, and he was 100% certain of his friend’s future in eternity.
In other times and cultures, you’ll see mourning last much longer than the typical funeral service window we see in our modern society.
This was the inspiration behind my latest project – “Stages of Grief” Ep. The 5 songs are based on the 5 Stages of Grief penned by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
She initially used these stages while working with terminally ill patients to help them process their circumstances and what was to come, but it has since been adapted to help anyone understand what’s happening during grief. There has been controversy in recent years surrounding these 5 stages, primarily because they have been misunderstood as a linear formula. They are not meant to be sequential stages that lead to Acceptance where all is resolved. Instead, you may experience these stages in changing waves through different seasons of life.
At some point, significant loss will be a part of all our stories, if it’s not already. Because we are human, we are always in the process of learning, growing, and living with grief. It’s not about arriving. Be kind to yourself and others who experience grief. The best thing we can do is be present and often, silent. Don’t rush to “fix” someone who is grieving.
Of all the lyrics in these songs, the ones from Acceptance best represent why recognizing grief is so important – my hope is still healing.
My desire for these songs was to create space for people to grieve what they have lost and give words to what can often be hard to say.
I hope these songs give words to wherever you are. If you’re like me and learning to hope again, know you’re not alone.
To listen and read more, visit https://frankieorella.com/