Wednesday, October 14, 2015

This is what grief feels like

My cousin Lynn passed away late Tuesday night. Even though I sensed she would pass soon, I still felt gutted. Heartbroken. Mad. Helpless. Sad. Guilty. 

I wanted to cry but I couldn't. I wanted to eat a whole cheesecake. I wanted to go for a run. I wanted to go to church. I wanted to sleep. I wanted to be with people I loved but I also wanted to be alone. I felt so conflicted and confused and anxious. I finally realized that I was desperately searching for comfort. But nothing, no matter what I tried, seemed to satisfy that. Not even the pumpkin pie ice cream my mom and I ate.

Because when someone dies, there's no quick fix. Nothing will make the hurt magically go away. When I realized that I finally took a deep sigh and thought "okay, yes, this is what grief feels like". You forget, I think , until it happens again. 

I also remembered a quote I had learned from my days working for hospice, which is "grief is not a problem to be solved, it is simply a statement that you loved someone".

I can't solve my grief or the dozens of others who are heartbroken over the loss of our Lynn. My ONLY comfort is knowing that her spirit lives on through those in her life. I'm almost jealous, actually. I wish I had known her in the same way some of her dearest friends did. But I am lucky to watch from afar, to read the stories and to see the pictures and to verify what I've always known was true: my cousin is super cool. 

I loved Lynn, and I love our family. We've been through hell and back. We've lost folks tragically. But we have an incredibly love for one another, a bond that cannot be broken, and an instinct to jump in when someone needs help. I'm so proud to be part of this family. 

Lynn, I am going to miss your humor and your bravery. I'm sorry we could not spend more time together but I've always admired you, cared for you and rooted for you. Your music, wisdom and laughter will love on. I promise we will take care of your siblings and your parents. Rest sweetly. Give Laurence, Terry, Mike, Jim, Tom, and Grandma and Grandpa my love. You are beautiful.

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