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Seven Stages

March 14, 2013

IN MEMORIAM: This week we pause for a moment, to tip our hats and celebrate the lives of two good men. Due to legalities, mentioning them by name is not a viable option. Though it is certain the families would give permission, it seems unethical to disturb them during their time of grief. What can be said without legal repercussion is this: one was the former proprietor of the bar formerly known as the Underground. In knowing him personally it is safe to say he was a kind, good hearted albeit troubled man. The other was the father of a co-worker only known vicariously through her. Yet from what can be surmised by her own provocation he was a good man and loved his children dearly. My deepest condolences to the families of two good fellows. END MEMORIAM.

Recently someone inquired about the loss of my own parental figure (my father passed in 2010). Questioning the aftermath of death, “Do you still miss you think of them often?” Well of course I miss him, he’s dead and gone, how could I not? But then again...I don’t. It’s strange because after a time they’re not gone, whether it’s because they live on through the living in memory or perhaps something far greater and deeper. It’s like they’re still here among us, it’s just...different.

“Do you think about the deceased?” That question encounters a strange reaction. Of course you do and now that it’s been mentioned you can’t help but to. To provide a negative answer would bring severe guilt and heartache. In the sense that perhaps you had forgotten to think about them enough. Personally, my dad comes to mind most often when I’m engrossed in a project. Whether it be mechanical, carpentry or landscaping the wonderment of “What would the old man do?” comes to mind. Is his presence there with me? Is he watching from “out there” somewhere with a smile? If he is watching I doubt the smile part. It’s probably a shaking of a disgruntled head wishing he could be there to tell me what I’m doing wrong and how to do it right. He was like that— I loved him for it.

The biggest most often asked question about the death of a loved one is “Do you ever get over it?” The answer is No! You accept it, you cope with it but you never “get over it.” How could you? Someone that was a part of your life is friggin’ gone forever...until you are. I guess then you’d be “over it.” Seriously and honestly you never truly get over someone’s death but it does change. How quickly it changes depends upon the individual and their living relationship with the deceased prior to them being deceased.

The rate at which this change of mentality concerning death and how you deal with it can be measured by what are known as The 7 Stages of Grief. Anyone who’s lost someone has heard of them and there is some relief in knowing what will come next or having a list to know how you should feel next when you just don’t know. The seven stages are as follows with some humor and artistic licensing applied.

1. Shock: The “holy s***” moment when you get the bad news. Nothing feels or seems real until someone points out how unreal it all seems and feels; then you move onto. 2. Denial: I don’t believe in this stage and will pretend it doesn’t exist so I can feel the... 3. Anger: God? The Devil? Another relative, the deceased themselves? Your own self? Somebody has to take the blame so we can get them and make them sorry for taking away someone we love. After we kick their ass we can go ahead and start 4. Bargaining: Oh how we’d give anything, even our own lives, if we could just have one more day. Of course we just beat up the person we’d probably have to bargain with, so it’s time to feel the... 5. Depression: Over the shock, past the denial, there’s no one to be angry at or bargain with so of course you’ll be depressed. Let your tears flow, let your sorrow escape because you’re on the road to 6. Acceptance: The person you loved is gone, there’s nothing you can do but accept it and move on but there’s always 7. Hope...yes Here is where I get lost, what would you hope for? A time machine? Healing powers? Or maybe hope that even though you’ll never get “over it” perhaps with a little time you can get on with it and learn to live with it, knowing that your lost loved ones live on in memory.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via through Focus, or e-mail me at

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya. (This column is an updated Chainsaw Classic!)



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