Grief arrives with us into this world, or at least that is my working theory.
After all, anyone older than nine months has already experienced grief at least once, with that first big wrenching transition from inside-Mom to outside-Mom.
Maybe we liked it better inside and maybe we like it better outside, but either way, we didn't expect it. We weren't ready. We didn't have any say in the matter. Ouch.
Fast forward 48 more years, and grief is a rather regular visitor in my life, but not always in ways I instantly recognize or respect.
Sure, there is what I've come to call "big grief."
I had that kind last November when my longtime love and I separated. I still have it, just to clarify. That kind of grief is big and bold. It likes to make an entrance.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's 5 Stages of Grief model sums up the high points: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, acceptance.
Personally, when in the throws of big grief, I tend to flop around a bit between the stages, waking up in denial one day, feeling angry the next, crying my eyes out a few days later after another round of bargaining with my ex, then finally finding the softness of acceptance for a moment or two....before it starts all over again,for more information.
But recently I discovered that big grief isn't the only kind of grief. There is also a type I've come to call "little griefs."