Encantado Magazine 2018 July Issue - Page 52

A Better YOU Written by: Gina C De Baca H ello! Hap- py July! This month will end my series on being the best version of yourself while experienc- ing hardship. My dad lost his battle with throat cancer on May 27, so this month’s article will focus on grief. Grief. We all experience it and each of us handles it different. I am not a stranger to grief. I have had a lot of it in recent years. What I haven’t experienced, is grief of this magnitude. On my best day I am not the best version of myself. My honesty about my feelings is authentic and that is the best part of me right now. There are five stages of grief. I have expe- rienced all of them. Some I am still stuck in. There are no rules or specific order the stages occur. The first stage is denial. I didn’t stay in this stage long. I knew my Dad’s health was poor so him dying young was inevitable. I just didn’t think he would have cancer and that it would be so aggressive that it took him faster than I was ready to let go. When the surgeon told me my dad had cancer I was numb. The second stage is anger. I am stuck in this stage. Underneath my anger is my pain. I am angry at everyone and every- thing right now. The old Gina would have been mad at God, but I wasn’t mad at him at all. I was mad at my dad for smoking for all those years and not taking better care of himself. I was mad at myself for not spending more time with him. I am angry with friends and loved ones for not being there the way I need them to be. I am still really angry. I am angry with those who were selfish and took the time and energy I desperately need from those I love. My anger is intense, which goes hand in hand with the intensity of my love and pain. My authenticity is the only positive I have going for me right now. I am still not eat- ing well or exercising like I should. There are days that I want to be surrounded by people so that my mind is occupied and I don’t think about my dad. There are oth- ers that I just want to be by myself. For the first time in my life I don’t have any answers and I don’t have it all figured out. The third stage is bargaining. This stage I don’t have a game plan to get back on is all about God and the “what ifs”. This track. was another stage I didn’t stay in long. My A Better you