Stage 3 – Bargaining

Stage 3 – Bargaining

This stage comes about differently depending on your circumstance. For me, being that my daughter died tragically I never had time to bargain for a different outcome. I did bargain after the fact but this came in the form of guilt. “If I was home more” “If I wasn’t caught up in my own life and divorce, I could have been more available” I bargained with my guilt for a very long time. Even though I knew that I was not the reason this happened, I still could not get rid of the amount of guilt that overcame me. I think after 5 years, I have gotten better about accepting that I cannot change anything and that no matter what I did I could not have prevented this from happening, but guilt still creeps in unannounced from time to time.

Another form of bargaining came in the immediate action of serving others. I wanted to make sure that my daughter’s death had a positive attached to it. I worked tirelessly trying to find ways to give back to the community. I was thankful enough to have friends that could help me create a scholarship in her name, friends that were making T-shirts and bracelets to make sure that no one forgot her. I posted on social media about doing random acts of kindness in her name and to attach hashtags to the cause, but what that all really was about was my guilt to do something. When you have lost all of your control and you have no way to regain it, you look for ways to hold onto that control, this was my way of still having some of that.

Another, form of bargaining that arose for me was masking pain or should I say accepting pain and wanting more to mask the heartbreak. I went and got a few tattoos in the first year and in my head I told myself that no pain could be as bad as losing my Zoe, I remember sitting through the tattoo and thinking that I could sit here forever and please continue creating this pain for me so it will dull what I’m really feeling. I recently got another tattoo and sat for 5 hours and again, these thoughts crept in. I’m sure this is a common response and not some new phenomena but I thought I would share for anyone else thinking this is a freaky thing that is happening to them.

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