Sunday, November 7, 2010

comment inspired......

i came down to a comment this morning from coleen.
and i tell ya, it sparked this whole thing inside of me.

she lost her husband of 30 years 5 months ago. she says
it's getting harder for her emotionally, not easier,
and people think she should be further along in her
grieving.

when i hear stuff like that, i just want to scream.
(not at YOU, coleen! not at you!!!)

what is WITH people who tell other people how their
grieving process should go??!! and WHY do these people
think there's some sorta time table?!!

it makes me crazy.

i have heard this kinda thing so many times from people coming thru.
a sister lost her sister, and her coworkers told her she
needed to get on with life.
a mom lost her daughter and wasn't healing fast enough
for her friends' tastes.
a mom lost her son, and didn't know how to go on, but felt
such pressure to 'put on that happy face' for her family.

all these women felt some kinda guilt or shame about their
grieving.

what is up with that?!!!

and coleen was commenting on the 'watching' blog....where
i stepped outta myself and watched what was goin' on.

and while i think that's a really cool thing to do, i think
we need to be aware that that's not always something we're
able to do ESPECIALLY when we're carrying grief. if there are
moments you can and want to try that, that's fine. cool.
do it. it's interesting and can show you some stuff, i think.
and if there are NO moments where that feels like anything
you could possibly do, then that's fine. because that's not
where you're at right then.

accepting where we're at and allowing our emotions is what
matters.

i like to tinker with mine at times. but not always. that's
for sure. and i know when i'm grieving, i don't tinker. it's
all i can do to stand up.

i've also learned that grieving has a life of its own.
the anniversary of one of the deaths that has hit me hardest
is coming up in a couple of weeks. it will be three years
since we lost her.

this year, i happen to be standing. i'm watching tho,
wondering how i'll do.
last year took me completely by surprise and knocked me to
my knees.

that would have been the second year she was gone.
and when the month of her death rolled around, it was like
i got hit by a truck.

i was amazed. it was the SECOND year, after all.
shouldn't i be okay?
what the heck happened???
it wasn't even the DATE of her death, it was the MONTH.
my gosh.
i didn't say much to anyone else around me.
it WAS the second year after all.
i should be okay.

knocked to my knees, not saying much to anyone else because
i really felt like i should 'have it together by now'
i made the treadmill my best friend.

when i felt like i was losing it, i got on that thing.
i would be on that thing three or four times a day.
just goin' as fast and as hard as i could -
puttin' on music that got me into the center of it all,
and just movin' my way thru it the best i could.
each time i was on that thing, i would cry and cry and
cry.

i had never experienced anything like that before.
and i didn't feel like it was an entirely okay thing to have
happen.

why??????????????????????

this year i haven't mentioned the date to anyone around
me. i've heard it come up in conversations. friends making
plans on that day, schedules being figured out.

each time i feel a tug on my heart.
'that's the day' i think.
and never say a word.

why??????????

because for pete's sakes how much can you harp about it?
how much can you dwell on it??
when are you gonna let go of it???

does any of those reactions sound healthy???

why do we feed that stuff???

we loved someone.
we lost someone.
our lives changed that day.
our hearts broke open that day.

i have a bone sigh i just posted recently for a friend
who lost her best friend....
it's about honoring the person who died by being the
best us we can be.
(you can find it here)

if we go with that thought and believe that thought.....
then allowing our grief to do what it needs to do, and go where
it needs to go and allowing ourselves that process is part
of honoring the one we lost because it's honoring ourselves.

and maybe, just maybe, it's time we took our grief process
and let it educate those who haven't been thru it yet,
that it really is okay to grieve.
and there is no timetable whatsoever.

that's probably better than kicking them to the moon.
which is what i want to do when i read a note like coleen's!

coleen, be gentle with yourself.
it matters.
and so do you.

7 comments:

AkasaWolfSong said...

Bravo Star Woman...Wise Wise Wise words!

You know something...I'd kick someone to the moon if they said that crap to me...my own Mother passed in 1964 and even still it can bring me to my knees and my son passed in 1994 and it still brings me to my knees. There is no timeline for emotion to sweep over us, or grief. It is what it is and when it comes I just fall into it because to ignore it would dishonor all of us as you've shared. I'm so glad you posted this today!!!!
At the time of my son's death my Mother's Sister said to me...how unfortunate that your son passed away before you...it isn't in the natural order of things and I looked at her like she was a green-horned caterpiller...What? There is order in Death? You have got to be kidding me! There is no order in death and there is no order in grieving...
Bless you for bringing this to everyone's awareness!!!

Merry ME said...

I know there are plenty of books written about the grief process. I wish I had a list so I could share it. But reading about it and feeling it are different things.

Grief I think is as personal as love. Think of all the ways we can love someone. Now imagine if all those ways suddenly (or not so suddenly for those who care for someone who has a long illness/death) disappeared. IT's not that you can't get over it, you can. But in your OWN WAY and OWN TIME. Nobody else can tell you how to put the pieces of your heart and life (and maybe your pocketbook) back together again. Special dates, songs, smells, colors, old shirts, burned dinners, holidays, movies, and a kazillion other things can all bring up memories that will either make you laugh or cry or both

Please, please don't let someone else tell you how to feel your loss.

I'm not Jewish, but a saying that I heard at a Synagogue went something like this: joy shared is doubled, grief shared is halved. Find someone you trust to share your grief with and the pain won't magically disappear, but it will be diminished some.

My two cents!

Coleen said...

Thank You...Thank You...Thank You..you put into words exactly how I feel at times...
Sometimes "I worry that I worry" that I am dwelling in the dark...so, I do try to slip into the light..even for only a moment...thats all I can handle sometimes...a beam of light...that is what you are to me and again "I Thank You!"

Heart Hugs,
Coleen

Pamela Jones said...

Coleen...it has been 30 years since my son died. My grief was raw for a very long time, and I really don't remember when the change occurred. All I can say is that when you are ready to put down some of the pain, you will. It's that simple. I came to understand that grief is love turned inside-out -- when we love deeply, we grieve deeply, because we pay attention to all the special things about the people we love. When they die, we have a whole lot to miss. I will forever miss my son, but the ache is not constant any more. I think part of the healing is to go on loving deeply so that your life has a balance of joy to offset the pain. Your grief is what you feel, not who you are. Obviously, you have loved deeply. That is a nice kind of person to be. Be kind to yourself and don't listen to the people who just don't get it. They are trying to make themselves feel better.

Wild Roaming One (WRO) said...

Colleen, I'm another one who agrees that our grief is OURS alone and the process looks different from person to person...if a beam of light is all you can handle right now (me too), then that's enough...it's all just enough right now.

*hugs*
WRO

Sorrow said...

yep
amen.
And grieving, is many things, I still grieve for Love, and faith and trust and things I lost along the way,
and I have learned that no matter who says what,
My grief is important
to me.
~hugs~

Annie said...

Beautifully written.

I grieved for 7 years over my boyfriend leaving me in college. I grieved for 5 years when another boyfriend left me in my mid-30's. I grieved for 2 years when I was abandoned at age 49.

I understand.