By Michael Thal
My hearing loss wasn’t gradual. I went to sleep one night with good hearing and awoke deafened. Six years later the virus returned making my “good” ear clinically deaf and leaving me with a severely dysfunctional left ear. Grief for my lost hearing hit hard.
According to David Kessler and Elizabeth Kubler Ross in their book, On Grief and Grieving, there are five stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Channie Amato, LMFT, puts it in perspective, “The stages don’t occur in an orderly progression. Grief affects each individual differently.”
Normally a highly-motivated individual, I sank into depression. I was a teacher who couldn’t understand a word his sixth-grade students said, and as a father of two young daughters, I needed to set a positive example. Prior to my hearing loss I never raised my voice to my girls. Now I was screaming at them daily. Things needed to change, and fast. Continue reading