Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Grieving Process

    After I had written the post My Dreams For You
I realized it sounded similar to going through the 5 stages of grief also known as the Kubler-Ross model.  I began to think about my range of emotions and realized that, even though she was not diagnosed with a terminal disease, I still went through the process of grieving   Grieving for the child I thought I was going to have.  Don't get me wrong, I love Sierra with every ounce of my being, but nobody dreams of having a child with autism!

    Denial - I didn't want to believe there was something wrong with my precious little girl!  I made many excuses for why she wasn't talking, late starter like her dad was, or she was working on learning the physical stuff first.  I made excuses for Sierra not making eye contact with certain people, they were all blond and she comes from a dark haired family so they are just different for her.  I knew there was something wrong but I didn't want to admit it.

    Anger - I prayed for another baby but I also said "God I would love another child but please don't give me a special needs child, I don't think I have it in me to take care of one."  I was very angry with God for giving me one anyway and of course I did the whole "why me" thing.

    Bargaining - Lord please let her come out of this and be a normal child, I will do what ever you want.

    Depression - I would cry every time I would imagine Sierra never talking, not having friends, not getting married, or just  not being the little girl I dreamed of when she was growing inside me.  I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything, but wallow in my self pity.

    Acceptance  - I came out of my pity party, and started to research autism and what I could do to treat her symptoms and in turn improve her quality of life.  I also realized how very special she is and their is a reason why God gave her to me!

     God has given me a wonderful little girl she's smart, loving, beautiful, funny, and giving, she just happens to have well.  I realize that now, but I had to go through the process of grieving to get to this point.

    This is not part of the process, but I just wanted to add this in.  Back when I was praying for another child, in hindsight it was almost like God was telling me my baby was going to be special needs and I kept arguing with him saying, "I want a baby just don't give me one if it is going to be special needs."  When we were trying to have Hannah I never felt the need to pray that.


  1. You have so eloquently penned exactly what I felt and did. My daughter is now 11 and I am grateful & thankful for her. I went through those stages and didn't realize it until now. Thank you.

  2. I didn't realize it either until I was reading over my post about my dreams for Sierra. I had learned about the stages in my EMT classes awhile back and I realized my dreams for her changed in the same manner.

  3. Its amazing how different we all are.

  4. No doubt but you are correct, there is a grieving process. It worked differently for me because we suspected autism ourselves before the professionals did and by the time he was diagnosed we have moved through several of the stages, but it was still the same process. I do remember, after he was diagnosed, thinking 'Oh, I am so relieved we already have his little sister' because we didn't have to make a decision further down the line whether to have another child or not (she was my third). I feel guilt about that because I didn't mean that I didn't want her wholeheartedly, I just was glad we already had her. There is only a 16 month age gap between them so we were watching and waiting to see if she had autism too but she doesn't. Sorry, didn't mean to go on. Everyone goes through such a range of emotions, it is a difficult time. Lovely post, has made me appreciate where I am today. Jen

  5. I was in the depression part when I finally decided to have her diagnosed, I too knew it before anyone else. It took me a long time to fully accept it though.

  6. Working on the acceptance part. Tears are just still there on "my" bad days. Hope you don't mind, I copied for hubby to see. THANKS>

  7. I still have bad days too :( No problem copy away!