Friday, October 25, 2013

Grief

On average, I train at least one new hospice volunteer a week. In that training session, we heavily discuss death, dying and grief. Throughout that discussion, I remind them that grief is not simply losing someone to death. Any loss can be grieved- loss of independence, a breakup, loss of a job, moving away.

Now, I am reminding myself of that very lesson.

Because my family has lost a sense of normalcy, and we are grieving.

Yes my dad is doing okay and yes he sailed through brain surgery and gamma knife radiation. Yes he's still working and is in great spirits. He's okay. He's fighting really hard.

But we're still grieving. And I think we need to be more compassionate to that.

This is not the life we are used to, and we did not expect this to happen. I consider that a loss.

Much like losing a loved one to death, the grief and emotion I am feeling now hits me at the most random of times. And we are all dealing with it differently. Me? I get mad. I cry. I cry at the most ridiculous things, just because all this emotion is pent up inside of me and I have to let it out somehow. When the Tigers lost? I bawled. BAWLED. I ran into someone the other night who I really never wanted to see again, and it caused me to cry my eyes out in anger and frustration. I get cranky and snap at people at random times. I am grieving.

Here are some things that I have learned on how to handle my grief. I say my grief because everyone, and I mean everyone, reacts differently. I can promise you that not one person in my family is feeling like another member of my family. We're all different. And that's something we all, as a society, have to remember in general: there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

1. It's okay to cry. Sometimes I feel awful crying, like people are going to judge me or think I'm weak. But I know that crying cannot always be controlled, and sometimes you just have to let it out.

2. Talking about it helps. At first, I was overwhelmed with talking about it. But now, I've realized it helps, and that most people I talk to are genuinely trying to help, and offer advice or prayers.

3. Your faith life holds you when everything else crumbles. I look to God now in almost everything I do. It's amazing how much you turn to Him when you need Him. It almost makes me feel guilty, but I also know He never really left my side, and He was just waiting for me to be open.

4. Embrace the mess. Sometimes it is just going to flat out be messy. And that's okay. There is no timeline on anything and no magical cure to make it all better. Embrace the red eyes, hoodie and blanket. Hold someone close and just let the mess unwind.

This is going to be a beautiful weekend, my friends. My brother and his lovely wife are coming into town. We are celebrating my nephew's 1st birthday tomorrow, and then I am having a few friends over for a Halloween party tomorrow evening. On Sunday my family and I are taking family photos, and then we have a great youth group meeting planned at my church. I plan on having my phone in hand all weekend to snap photos and I will be back Monday to post them.

Love, love, love.

2 comments:

Shari said... Add Reply

I think #1 on your list is so, so important. At first when everything happened with my Gram, I would make sure the tears fell in private -- I didn't want to add to anyone else's pain, you know? But it goes hand-in-hand with #2 - you can't keep the emotions bottled up. Letting them out and leaning on others helps.

I'm so very glad your dad is doing well. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers daily . <3

Dee said... Add Reply

*hugs*

I'm keeping him in my prayers! Hope you'll all be okay soon.