25 June 2016 – 8th stage of grief

  • Shock or Disbelief
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Acceptance and Hope

I don’t mean this to sound melodramatic, and I certainly don’t mean to belittle these emotions for someone who is grieving for a loved one, but I honestly feel like I went through most of the seven stages of grief yesterday.

What rescued me at the end of the day was stepping onto a flight to Toulouse and being made so welcome by my French hosts. I feel like I’ve run away, but it’s also given me some perspective.

Whilst I don’t deny there are going to be changes, changes that are unknown and probably unpalatable; we are archaeologists. And there are a number of traits I think we share as archaeologists that will see us through this.

  1. The first is an ability to look beyond the now. This is usually directed to the past, but the important thing is to see the larger picture.
  2. To imagine, shape and grab any opportunities the future presents us with.
  3. We also thrive on challenges (who hasn’t enjoyed trying to fix something with string and gaffs tape?).
  4. We have a love for the world – other countries, the environment and other cultures.
  5. We adapt and deal with change, whether it’s being rained off-site or handling the rejection of a funding application. We regroup and come up with an answer.
  6. And I think most importantly of all, we understand the benefits of working collectively and collaboratively.

It is those strengths that will see us survive this as individuals and as a discipline, whichever sector we work in.

I’m not sure how, but I’m not going to let yesterday’s decision stop me from doing the work I love and believe in. I’m here for a meeting tomorrow about LandCover6k and LandUse6k in East Africa, a global project with people from Europe and beyond.

And ultimately I still love and feel a part of Europe. That can’t be taken away from me by anyone.

Please can we add an eighth stage of grief? Dermination to survive and thrive, despite what is thrown at us.


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