Joanna Beilby

East Bentleigh, Australia

Melbourne photographer with a penchant for black and white film. / President of the Melbourne Camera Club – drop by and see us! /...

The Five Stages Of Grief

The Five Stages of Grief

Everyone knows the five stages of grief, right? Denial, anger, bargaining, despair and finally acceptance. Well I can attest to them all and none is fun. The fact that one is forced to traverse this terrain means that something has indeed gone wrong. Usually it is that someone close has died, or a relationship breaks up, or even the passing of a beloved pet. Well for me it was losing what I thought was a certainty.

At first it was just a nagging doubt. One that I was forced to check on. And when I did, I found that the chips weren’t falling as they should. But that couldn’t have been right, so I phoned and phoned and phoned an entire day away to make the necessary changes. Denial.

Then of course it occurred to me that I had been advised wrong. And even a lawyer I unofficially consulted said I had a case. There were three errors that had resulted in this outcome and someone would make the changes or pay. Anger. But was this reasonable?

So I stated my case to the highest in the land: The Academic Deans of three universities and all agreed they would make changes and take my request into consideration. But none said they could do it on time… So finally I made a (reeking of desperation) appeal. Bargaining. But three times the emails bounced back. The address had been shut down. And calls, and calls, and calls, but only the voicemail had the balls to pick up.

And after each shift in psychology I threw myself onto my bed. And lay there. And lay there. Despair.

And I can definitely state that I knew right from that initial phone call what the result would be. But I also knew I had to try. I had to do everything in my arsenal and know first hand that none of it would change the facts. When reality stinks it’s best not to face up wind. The ground had shifted under my feet and no matter what I did, I was always on the wrong side of the divide. I had built a bridge with all the known requirements, to all the stated specifications, but the crevasse had unexpectedly widened and my materials didn’t reach.

So now it is time to face the facts and put the unthinkable down in writing: This is not the year I will be accepted into medical school. Acceptance.

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