Title: Seven Stages to Clarity
Summary: When facing eternity, a good mother will try to put all her affairs in order. That means getting real, seeing clearly and putting your own heart’s desires on hold, your dreams in perspective, letting your brain control your advice. Now if only those you love will just cooperate! Joyce looks to her daughter’s future as her own mortality becomes an issue and comes to some startling conclusions. Can Joyce convince Buffy to forget all that she has been telling her, all that everyone has been telling her, thereby easing Joyce’s own worries before facing the hospital and possible death?
Setting: S5 and begins to go AU at the end of “Fool For Love” (written by Douglas Petrie). I am using bits of dialogue from that episode in the beginning of the story before it goes a very different direction.
A/N: Elizabeth Kübler-Ross identified a grief cycle (her initial number of stages was five) that occurs when people deal with death or grieving. The current feeling is that there are more like seven stages, hence my title. Those stages encompass: Shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression and loneliness (or a period of reflection realizing the full impact of the loss), an upward turn of adjustment, reconstruction of life with the change, and finally acceptance and hope.
This season’s theme was “head vs. heart”. Oft times what appears logical and right to any sane person–your heart’s desire, as it were–is not the correct choice after all, not when facing your own exit.
Much thanks, as always, to my fabulous Beta and perfect little sister, Scarlett2U (Mary). Without her wise advice and diligent care in the grammar and punctuation corrections, my stories would suffer terribly! Thank you, sweetie, you are the best!
Disclaimer: Some info such as doctors’ names and Joyce’s medical condition were taken from “Shadow” (written by Dave Fury) and “Listening to Fear” (written by Jane Espenson) and a wee bit of Riley attitude paraphrased from “Into The Woods” (by Marti Noxon). The characters in this story do not belong to me and are being used for amusement purposes only. All rights remain with Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, the original writers of the episodes, books and other licensed products connected to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, particularly Twentieth Century Fox, WB, CW, and UPN, all rights reserved.