Strong Women & Survivor Stories

Bargaining

Delilah Saunders on bargaining, the fourth stage of the grieving process

This stage was the most daunting for me because I'm not sure I understood what I was doing when I reflect on my experiences with bargaining. Most examples I've found were for people with terminal illnesses, not an abrupt death of a family member and best friend. I wasn't sure I had the time to bargain while searching for Loretta, especially if you consider my lack of faith and belief in a higher power at the time.

However, during the search for Loretta when she was missing, I did incessantly message and call her. I let her know that we were all so worried about her and that it was safe to come home. I also vowed to do everything to take care of her when she returned. I suppose I did pray to my anansiak and atatsiak, and other ancestors for a safe return home. I prayed, but not in words exactly. It was more of a spiritual understanding with people I've never met as I looked over the city, letting them know that our girl needs to be home.

One recurring thought and feeling of mine, after taking some time to process, was one of guilt; wishing I could do things differently. If I had just stayed in Halifax and accepted one of the three jobs I was offered, she wouldn't have had to post the kijiji ad to which Blake and Victoria replied.

Another thought of mine was this: I am the one who lived recklessly, so I am the one who should have been stolen. It is quite awfully the most unjust and unfair way to lose someone.

I haven't really talked to anyone who has lost a loved one to homicide or suicide about the bargaining stage of grief. So, I'm curious as to how people are dealing with this stage, especially if you are still searching for answers. Feel free to comment below!

anansiak — grandmother

atatsiak — grandfather

 

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