Grief is an elaborate process that is unique to every individual and to every event. It's five stages and the nature in which one bounces from each stage to another reminds me of the star method of bolting a car wheel. The criss-cross pattern first creates the shape of a star across the bolts and, for the best results, you can't fully complete each bolt the first time; you have to come back and secure it once the other bolts have been attended to. Similarly, in each experience of grief, often we cannot be completely satisfied with our experience of denial, bargaining, anger, depression, or acceptance until we've been through each one at least once. Even if we think each part has run its course, mindfully reflecting and checking in on each aspect while paying attention to how our minds and brains react is a great way to ensure that our grief process has been honored and respected. The following is a backwards poem I wrote to highlight just one example of how the five stages of grief resembles more of a starry pattern, than a linear one.
It is almost time for acceptance.
The end is soon to come for your depression,
For you will overcome your denial
As you’ve run the course with the tactic of bargaining
And thus, your anger subsides