Friday, May 22, 2009

The Stages of Grief: Life in Abu Dhabi.

So yesterday afternoon the boys did in fact come over. Mike was originally supposed to come over to fix our internet connection (to make our phone work again) and of course Matt was coming over to play with best-friend-Kaden, but Kyle and Steve came too and a new guy named Dan. Mike fixed the connection with all of his awesomeness and then Dan came to me with puppy-dog eyes and asked if they could give Kaden a “faux-hawk”. I said sure and here are the adorable results:

Notice Kaden smashed face? He was wearing socks on his hands (I should probably explain this, but I’m going to let it go) and then fell forward and didn’t know how to “stop” himself, so he just decided to let his face break the fall. Luckily it was on the rug or it could have been a lot worse than just rug burn. Poor baby.

We all went to the Flower for dinner, which was fairly comical with all of those people. We were discussing the process one goes through while living in Abu Dhabi (coming from America) and we discovered it’s much like the Kubler-Ross model of the five stages of grief.

Dan, all bouncy and giddy, and taking in his surroundings, was a pure joy to observe… he’s only been here a few days (the veterans call this stage “denial”). He’s still in the shock part of living here. Questions like, “Things are good here, right?” and “It’s not THAT different, right?” take up the majority of your mind (and are met with blank stares from anyone who's lived here over a year). We were laughing about how we’re all in various stages of the grief process and watching Dan and his elevated happiness punctuates how low the rest of us have become. Sad, but also funny.

Mike piped up and said, “And after about 4-6 months you fall into that intense anger stage…” See? Stage two of the model. Anger. I remember this one clearly. It was right after we got back from visiting home last August. I hated everyone in this city and held them all personally responsible for my misery.

Stage Three: bargaining. I don’t know how others have dealt with this stage, but in our home, the bargaining is always between Stu and I (and the world… namely America). We discuss how long we have to stay to get, say, a Nissan Titan AND a Charger, AND a house, AND a nest egg. This starts to feel overwhelming and impossible. We start saying, “Well, I don’t really NEED a Charger if you don’t really NEED a Titan…”. We put off things like clothes and household appliances because that will get us that many days closer to going home in the end.

Depression. I’d say this is the stage that Stu and most of the guys we were with at dinner last night are in. They walk slower, their shoulders and faces sag, and their general demeanor is just that much more cryptic. I’m sitting right on the line between Depression and Acceptance. Some days I’m good to go, other days I’m two mouse clicks away from booking the next plane home on Expedia.

And therein lies that last stage: Acceptance. I think Acceptance for what we’re gone through here and the sacrifices we’ve made along the way will be finalized when we step off the plane in Boise. But I’ll let you know if it comes sooner than that. :)


  1. Now, you have to tell us why he had socks on his hands..??? You have sent out the teaser and I can't stand to not know...hahaha Call me nosey..?! LOVE his new faux do!! Hilarious...haha

    Love you...

  2. Aw poor smushed face. But he's probably quickly learned now that he needs to block his face when he falls! At least it wasn't on tile floor or the corner of furniture. My brother has a scar on his head where hair doesn't grow to this day, from wrestling with Dad on the bed years ago and slamming into the bedside dresser. Not fun.