Coping with loss

grief

Any time a traumatic event happens in someone’s life, their mental makeup can be shaken. Personalities change: Normally friendly people can lash out at everyone and everything; some seek solace in the bottle; some lock themselves in their parents’ basements for even longer periods than usual.

Normally going through the five stages of grief is reserved for major events like the loss of a family member or the news of a loved one coming down with a disease like cancer, but it struck me recently that the Jays blogosphere has, since Kenny Ken Ken Rosenthal tried to convince everyone that Roy Halladay is going to be traded, really been exhibiting the five stages of grief.

1. Denial

Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of situations and individuals that will be left behind after death.

Stoeten of the Drunks got the process started when he said:

Fuck. Off.

This is not news.

I know those maybe sound like the words of a Jays fan fiercely in denial, but they’re really not. This is just fucking tiresome. How many times over the years has Ricciardi said—about not just Halladay, but any player—that “if something makes sense, we at least have to listen”?

Of fucking course he’ll listen! Is that seriously all you’ve got???

To be fair, he does make some good points as to why it’s not news and at the time, especially given the way things regarding Doc trade talk have gone in the past, but it turns out that this time, there was a bit more to it.

And yes, this may be a case of Rosenthal being the boy who cried wolf, but I’m cherry picking here to make this work.

2. Anger

Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.

The Tao jumped all over this stage, unleashing a professional-sounding form of anger. And you know what, I still think he’s right: It’s all J.P.’s fault.

And Stoeten pretty much nails it in a post he appropriately titled A Quick Word About The Most Frustrating Thing Ever.

Of course, if you want to see the worst side of the anger surrounding this topic, just read the comment sections of any of the blogs.

3. Bargaining

The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the person is saying, “I understand I will die, but if I could just have more time…”

You don’t even have to leave this blog to see a prime example of this step. Let’s solve the Halladay dilemma by making the Vernon Wells problem worse! That’s the ticket! Right.

4. Depression

During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect themself from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer an individual up that is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.

Ghostrunner’s Drew couldn’t even manage to keep his chin up. That’s saying something.

Ian the Blue Jay Hunter admitted to feeling like his heart’s breaking at the thought of Halladay pitching for another team.

5. Acceptance

This final stage comes with peace and understanding of the death that is approaching. Generally, the person in the fifth stage will want to be left alone. Additionally, feelings and physical pain may be non-existent. This stage has also been described as the end of the dying struggle.

The Tao is the shining example of this stage, with two particular posts in mind.

One reminds us that “There are still some pretty good players – and people – on the roster of this ballclub that we can get behind. The Globe’s Jeff Blair hammers the point home within this great read on Aaron Hill.”

And the other (and proving that the stages don’t necessarily go in order, it was posted before the anger post linked above) is just a great read.

So what’s the point of all this?

Nothing really. Just something I noticed. Personally, I’m ready to move on. Doc’s a great pitcher and we’re lucky to have had him here for as long as we have. But if he’s going to test free agency after 2010, as J.P. has said (see MLBastian’s twitter if you missed that), then Doc’s got to be moved for the best package that can be had. The team can’t afford to let him walk with nothing but draft picks in return.

So tonight I’m going re-read Mop Up Duty’s excellent post on Roy Halladay’s career, then I’m going to go down to the Rogers Centre and cheer for Roy Halladay as best I can. And when he leaves the game, whether it’s after a complete game win or being yanked in the first without getting an out, I’m going to give him the standing ovation he deserves. It may be the last chance I have and I don’t want to miss out on doing the little bit that I can to let him know that I appreciate what he’s done for this team.

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7 thoughts on “Coping with loss

  1. Pingback: Baseballbriefs.com

  2. This post is f’n nails Clements.

    I teared up a bit at the end there cowboy. Wish I could be there with you tonight.

    I’ll probably stand up in my living room though.

  3. Also, if there aren’t at least 40,000 people at the game tonight I’ve lost all faith in humanity. Shit, when my baseball tonight got cancelled I considered seeing if there was a last minute plane out of town I could catch.

    In fact, I would like to think it would be a wall-to-wall sellout, but considering not even Canada v.s. US sold out, I’m doubtful.

  4. It surprises me to hear that you had any faith in humanity left, Cole. But if you did, it’s about to vanish… 24,161. Yep. Not even twenty-five thousand.

    Fuck this stupid city and its worthless, ungrateful fans. Toronto doesn’t deserve Halladay.

  5. I was really surprised that there weren’t even 30,000 there on Friday night. It seemed like more people were there to flash their signs and boo Vernon Wells rather than cheer on Doc.

  6. I’m really surprised with only 24k…. There seemed to be a large walkup crowd and watching on TV it definitely seemed it was more full than 24,000..

    Any idea if there’s a possibility it could have somehow not included a large amount of the walkup crowd? Before the game they were saying they expected 40,000.

  7. They don’t announce attendance until the game’s over, so I’d be surprised if the total doesn’t include the walk-up crowd.

    It was weird, the crowd looked small and it was disappointing in that sense, but it sounded a lot bigger — even after the roof opened. It was a pretty good atmosphere if you could get past looking at the entire sections that were left empty.

    And thanks Cole, I teared up a bit writing the end of this post.

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