You can not die of grief, though it feels as if you can. A heart does not actually break, though sometimes your chest aches as if it is breaking. Grief dims with time. It is the way of things. There comes a day when you smile again, and you feel like a traitor. How dare I feel happy. How dare I be glad in a world where my father is no more. And then you cry fresh tears, because you do not miss him as much as you once did, and giving up your grief is another kind of death.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton
A few years ago I would have said I have felt profound grief, but I knew little of it. Death has touched my family, as it does all of ours.
But the grief had settled then and I knew only of the importance of the pain, much like I knew only the importance of the pain of childbirth. Some deaths were searing scars that are still rough to the touch, like the death of my Gram. Others still fresh still have the power to well my eyes up with tears at the terrible loss I feel, as I do when I linger on the thoughts of my beloved dog. Until just recently I would have said that I understood that there were steps and stages of grief, yet I did not have a full understanding of them and how in fact I grieve until the loss of my brother.
The truth is, we all grieve differently and there is no wrong way to do so. We grieve many things, not just the passing of life.
Some have been known to grieve so terribly the loss of their youth, the best moments of their lives that they have failed to see that they neglected the future until it was too late.
Some have grieved the loss of a job, loss of a home, and many have grieved the loss of a friendship. There are days when you wanted to crawl back into bed and pull the blankets close, letting the comfort of this safe place take control over the heaviness of your broken heart. Tend to your heart, your broken soul, but don’t mistake this time of grief for the stage for the rest of your life.
When Lance died I went through phases of grief at first I didn’t understand.
Denial, anger, depression, repair and sometimes I circled back again. There were moments when I wanted to believe that everything was ok, he was fine, we were all FINE!
I refused to stay in bed and let it soak into me and drown me in sorrow. I got up every morning, got dressed, tended to my children and home, and moved forward even when I had the chances to take advantage of offered help… I NEEDED to keep moving and not stop until I was sure I could get through this.
I started writing just to get the words out of my head. Even when I felt judged by others who thought that my words remembering my beloved friend were suppressing my feelings for my husband and family, I kept writing because I knew that I needed to resolve this great sadness the only way I knew how to do. Through that I was able to meet some great new friends who were also going through the same stages of grief I was. I learned from them and from others that we all deal with our grief differently and there are no wrong ways of doing so.
Since then there have been other days when sadness and grief have come to my life. I have had to deal with the days one at a time and realize that I can’t control this wheel of life.
One of the hardest things I had to overcome was the critique. I had someone tell me that I wasn’t giving enough of my thoughts and attention to my husband and family because I was reflecting too much on my blog.
It was a nasty hit and a low blow when it came out of nowhere. But it made me angrily look at where that was coming from and why it affected me so much. In the end I had to realize that my husband, friends and family actually understood my process of grief and held no ill about how I was expressing change. I have always had an easier time with analyzing my feelings when I can read them and share them with others. So when this hit came, I pulled back and didn’t want to write anymore. I actually felt more depressed once I was suppressed like that but I felt sick and angry about the attack. It wasn’t until I could address my anger that I realized that I was allowing the petty words of a stranger actually bring me more harm.
Well I am saying today, no more. Part of my healing process is writing and nobody should ever have the power to take that away from me, even if I was the one taking it away from myself. I have to be kind to myself and move forward.
There is good that has come out of death, I have learned so much about myself and things I can’t control. There are so many things that I wish I could have changed, people I wish I could have one more day with, and guilt that I have to learn to overcome. I can’t say that I know everything about grief, but I can say that even as much as it hurts there are some things that can come from it that are good.