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Michaela McKie

McKie 1

Professor Knudson
UWRT 1101-09
16 February 2016
Workshop Memo
In the workshop memo, I had the chance to work with Kiwane Williamson, Kenyaun
Coney, and Haleigh Riley. We usually work good together in our regular daily groups, so
we all have gotten to know each other pretty well. After my paper was reviewed, I have
gotten pretty good reviews, just minor mistakes here and there. I then thought to go to
Professor Knudson, just to get her intake on it. She told me that I should explain some
stuff a little better and Ill be alright. I like the workshop memo because I am able to get
extra feedback on this paper. I put my heart and soul in this paper and I really hope that
whoever reads it can see that this paper means the world to me. I am telling my story.
The side that nobody, not even my mother got to see.

Michaela McKie

McKie 2

Professor Knudson
UWRT 1101-09
16 February 2016

Cultural Myths: Grieving


How is somebody supposed to deal with death? It comes so suddenly, and all you ask is
why? You start to question your beliefs. Asking God why? Why did you choose me to go through
this? You start to question what are you going to do now? How are you going to survive without
this person? All anyone can say is Its going to be okay and you are just thinking in your head
No its not! Nobody can feel what you are feeling. Nobody understands whats going on in
your head and why you are acting different. You have to get over it, It happened, now move
on, Nobody is still grieving over it anymore they say. When in reality you have died a little
bit inside everyday they have been gone. The real question is WHY? Why put this special person
in my life and then take them away just like THAT? You are not supposed to question God, but
I cant help but ask why? That question just goes on in my mind and it drives crazy! Why cant
someone else go through this? I havent done anything to deserve this. I go to church, I pray, I
make sure I give thanks to the highest and this is how I am repaid? Im repaid by my life being
ruined? How am I supposed to get closure from this? Will I get it from the funeral? They say
Time heals all, will it heal my pain? Is this going to get any better? All Im feeling is that this
is not going to get any better. Is it my fault? Could I have done anything different to change this?
The five stages of grieving tells us how to grieve and get through this hard process.

Michaela McKie

McKie 3

Professor Knudson
UWRT 1101-09
16 February 2016
We are supposed to follow the 5 steps of grieving when going through traumatic times.
The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance are a part of the framework
that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. Denial is the first of the five stages of
grief. It helps us to survive the loss. In this stage the world becomes meaningless and
overwhelming. You know that that person is going to call you and say that it was all just a
misunderstanding. We go numb. As denial starts to fade, reality hits. Reality, what you were
trying to avoid this whole time. Denial helps us to cope and make survival possible. Its our way
of only letting in only what we can handle. Knowing that in the back of your mind that you are
hurting so much that you dont know how to go on. Then start to question if you should even go
on. Then comes anger. It may seem endless but it is a necessary part of the healing process.
Anger is said to have no limits. It can extend to not only your friends, the doctors, your family,
yourself, your loved one that passed, but also God. This is when you ask God Why? Where is
God at when I need him? Being angry at God for allowing you to go through this horrible
situation. This is when you start to rethink why you even trust in God, or is God even real? You
find yourself so angry that He would allow His children to feel such pain.
The third step is bargaining. Before a loss of a loved one, it seems that you will do
anything for your loved one to be spared. You find yourself saying Please God I will do
anything Ill live right for the rest of my life if you just let him/her live Guilt is often
bargainings companion. This is where the If only comes to play. This causes us to find fault in
ourselves and what we think we could have done differently to change what has happened. The

Michaela McKie

McKie 4

Professor Knudson
UWRT 1101-09
16 February 2016
next step we go through is depression. This is the step where we come to terms with reality. This
is the stage that feels like it lasts forever. Depression is an appropriate response to a great loss. It
is natural and this is the step that ends up letting you come to peace with everything. Time heals
all. Is this a true statement? Does time really help? The last stage of the grief process is
acceptance. Acceptance is often confused with the thought of being all right or Okay with
what has happened. This is when you ACCEPT reality that our loved ones are physically gone
and recognizing that this is a new permanent reality. We will never like this reality or even be
okay with it but we will eventually accept it and come to terms with it. This will be a new norm.
We have to learn how to live and readjust in this new world without that special person. We end
up living our lives, having more good days than bad ones, but we often feel like we are betraying
our loved one. We can never replace what has been lost but we can make the life were given and
make it a better one. We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its
time. Although these are the steps, these steps do not come in a linear fashion. We may feel one,
another one, and then back to the first one or the one before it.
Tyreic Elyja Hemphill was my prince charming. My everything. I met him at the age of
13 and I knew he was going to be in my life forever. Even though we were young, I knew that he
made me feel a certain way that I have never felt before. You are too young to know what love
is. I knew it was love. September 20, 2013 and around 4:45 would be the day that changes my
life forever. It was a Friday and beautiful outside. We were just talking a couple of hours before
and everything was perfect. Maybe that is where I went wrong? Taking advantage of time. You
never know when it will be the last time you will see someone.

Michaela McKie

McKie 5

Professor Knudson
UWRT 1101-09
16 February 2016
Friday afternoon, I was getting ready to go to my old schools football game. This was
just a regular day for me. My mother is waiting for me downstairs while Im finishing up. All of
a sudden my phone rings. It is my younger cousin. We usually talk on the phone all the time to
see what each of us are doing. I pick up. Our conversation was as normal as usual. He says
What are you doing I replied and said Nothing much, Im getting ready to come to Durham.
He then asks me where I am going. I replied and told him that I was going to be going to the
Hillside High School Football game. There was silence on the phone for a couple of seconds. My
younger cousin knows how much Tyreic means to me. I was not expecting that this phone call
was going to change my mood, day, or even life. The news I was about to receive, I wouldve
thought that I would have gotten it in a more sympathetic way, but instead I got it with no
emotion or remorse. After the couple of seconds of silence, he then tells me Tyreic died. In my
mind, I automatically think that this is a joke. I smiled a little bit while looking in the mirror and
I said Boy why are you playing like that, its not funny! He replied and said I swear to God,
its on Instagram, his cousin just put it up there. I just knew he was lying, so I told him I was
going to look for myself and I was going to call him back. I immediately try to call him. I go
straight to my call log and click on his name. It goes straight to voicemail. I start to panic. I go
downstairs and I tell my mother and she does not believe it neither. By this time, I was ready to
go straight to the car. However, I think about what my cousin tells me, so I go to Tyreics
cousins page. Im so anxious and shaky I accidentally unfollow him and I am not allowed to
view his posts because of the face that I unfollowed him! I was so enraged with myself. The next

Michaela McKie

McKie 6

Professor Knudson
UWRT 1101-09
16 February 2016
possible thing I could think of doing to see if this was real is to go the News websites. Usually
when teens die, it would be all over the news. I saw NOTHING.
While I am in the car, I get several phone calls. All of the phone calls that I was getting
immediately started with them saying Are you okay?!?. In my head, Im still thinking that all
of this is still a joke and Im saying Yes, Im fine! Its not on the news, I dont think he is gone, it
is probably all a misunderstanding. While I am on the way to this football game, my mother
keeps asking me did I still want to go to the game and I keep telling her I do not believe any of
this and I know he is going to call me to tell me that he was alright. When I pulled up to the
football game, I met up with one of my friends so I could put my stuff in her car. I was supposed
to be staying the night with her that night. While I was walking to the car, I was still trying to
figure out if this horrible lie was true. She told me something that I was NOT trying to hear.
She told me it was true, but I still was not trying to hear it. After I had put my stuff in her car, one
of my friends had called me and she was in tears. Before I got to the game, I called her to tell her
what my cousin had just recently told me and she was not believing it neither, so when she called
me crying, I knew something was wrong. She tells me to meet her in the bathroom, so I quickly
rush to meet her. When I got to the bathroom, to see her in tears, that is when everything hit me. I
knew at that very moment, that this was real and there is no escaping it. My first instinct was to
call my mother. Right when she answered the phone she knew that I was calling her to tell her
that everything was true. I wanted and I needed my mother to be there to hold me, but she
wasnt. The only thing that I was able to do was cry. I was crying so much, that I was about to
pass out, but one of the mothers of the football players had to calm me down. She had to get me

Michaela McKie

McKie 7

Professor Knudson
UWRT 1101-09
16 February 2016
to sit down because she knew it was not going to end well for me. I tried to get myself together
to go back out to the game. All I saw outside were people crying. All I could do was feel their
pain. I kept praying to God to let this be a bad dream that I am going to wake up from.
Saturday morning, I wake up KNOWING that this was all a joke, but I know its all real.
It was on the news and everything, but I was still thinking it was still a joke. My friend had to
take me home because I wanted to see my mother. I wanted my mothers arms to hold me to
make me feel better. When I saw her, all I did was break down. I wanted her to tell me that it was
not real, even though I knew it was. We got home, and I just wanted to lay in my bed and cry. I
did not want anyone to talk to me, I just wanted to be to myself where I could talk to God.
Asking God WHY? Why him? He was a straight A student. This was his senior year and he
already knew where he wanted to go for school and his choice of career. He was an amazing kid.
Just why God? Why take the only thing special to me away? My future was with him, I could not
see myself without him. I asked my mother if I still had to go to school. I did not want to live
anymore. The only thing that I kept hearing was Its going to be okay and I did not want to hear
that! The way I was feeling, nothing was going to be okay. You will not get over the loss of a
loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the
loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you
be the same, nor would want to -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. This quote really speaks to me. Even
though she says so little, she says so much in my eyes. It says exactly what I feel. I have rebuilt
myself, learn to live with it and have became whole again. Although, I would love to be the same

Michaela McKie

McKie 8

Professor Knudson
UWRT 1101-09
16 February 2016
person that I was, I thank God I am not. I would not have become the young woman that I am
today.
In ninth grade not knowing I would have to go through this, I learned about the grieving
proces in one of my health classes. While going through this time, I read up on the stages of
grieving. Reading about it made me a little upset. How are you supposed to tell someone how to
feel? How to grieve? The only thing that really got me through this hard trial in my life, was to
remember that he is still here in my heart. I still carry on our memories and the good times we
had, that nobody else was able to have with him. I truly believe that God does not give anything
more that we can handle. Not everybody can go through this because everybody is different and
maybe the young sixteen year old beside me would have not handled it as well as others or in
this case me. This situation has made me a stronger person. I take this and tell others not to feel
bad for me, but to use it for motivation. That was my Acceptance stage. To realize everything
that I could take from this situation and make it positive. To help others.
Your grief is as unique as you are. The 5 steps of grieving is different for everyone. You
grieving is as unique as you are. Even two years later, Im still in denial. I still believe he is
coming back. Losing someone you love is like losing a piece of you as well. Grief comes in all
different ways not just those 5 steps.

Michaela McKie

McKie 9

Professor Knudson
UWRT 1101-09
16 February 2016

Work Cited
Kessler,David,andElisabethKublerRoss."FiveStagesofGriefbyElisabethKubler
Ross&DavidKessler."GriefcomBecauseLOVENeverDies.N.p.,2005.Web.07Feb.2016.

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