When the Vacation Ends: The 7 Stages of Grief

 
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As the summer approaches everyone is gearing up for vacations. The planning, day of departure, and unpacking in your accommodation is a feeling that’s simply sublime. It’s all fun and games until the vacation starts to end and the seven stages of grief begin. To offer insight into these stages, we’ve provided an inner monologue of each:

Shock/Denial

‘So this is ending. It’s really over. I only have 13 hours 27 minutes and 42 seconds until I will be on the plane heading home. This will be my last drink here. This tan will go away in a week. Did I take enough photos? Did I actually have fun? This was all worth it right? Yeah, definitely was. And it’s not ending soon, no way, no how. Nah. I’ve still got plenty of time. 13 hours 27 minutes is a long time in dog years.’

Pain/Guilt

‘Will my boss hate me for being gone all week? I’m positive I’ve let the whole team down with their added workload. The whole business has probably suffered from me being gone--me, just the lone analyst. My barista probably thinks I’m dead. I should really send her a postcard so she needn’t grieve.’

Anger/Bargaining

‘I mean this is a bit ridiculous. Just 2 weeks paid vacation a year? And I’ve just used half? I mean come on. We all need to relax and unplug. It’s healthy. I mean, if I were to work 70 hour weeks instead of 60, could I rack up some more vacation time? I think that’s reasonable. I mean, who wouldn’t agree to that? I mean, come on, it’s a great deal. The best deal.’

Depression

‘I’ll never be this happy again. I’ll never enjoy a mojito again. I’ll just have these memories to attach my fleeting moments of happiness on for the next few months. I’m returning to bills, responsibilities, hundreds of unread emails, and Monday meeting. I might as well just stay here, drown myself in a vat of mojitos, and never return home. After all, they’re not responsibilities if I keep running away, right?’

Upward Turn

‘Well okay, it can’t be that bad. It’s just life. The life I’ve been living for a few years now. I’ve done it every day for years, so it’s not like I’m unfamiliar with it. And it really isn’t that bad. It’s just life, ya know? I can do it. This vacation has made me realize how good I really have it.’

Reconstruction (solving real problems)

‘I’ll make a to-do list on the plane of everything I need to tackle this week. I’ll also come up with a plan of attack to catch up on work stuff. “Pick up the dry cleaning, pay rent, send flowers to mom for her birthday, send over weekly dashboard…” Yep, that’ll make me feel better.’

Acceptance

‘This is it, this is zen. This vacation was just that--a vacation, an escape from reality. I’ve always known I have to go back. I got what I needed from this trip, and I couldn’t be happier to be heading home. There will always be another vacation. And more mojitos.’

 

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