Forever In My Heart Friday. FIMHF. Week 25. So I was talking a couple different people about my Friday blogs recently. I have to say I was a little shocked to even hear from a few people that they struggled to read them or even chose not to read them. So let me start from there. In the beginning I didn’t know where this 52 week journey would take me. All I knew is that I had to find a way to overcome the hatred of this day that took the life of my child. I had to find a way to personally overcome and rationalize my own feelings that made no sense in my current state of utter dissolution. What I have since learned in my journey thus far is how often grief is frowned upon or simply ignored, often like trying to openly educate our children about sex. But why? Am I not NORMAL?? Is MY grief not NORMAL?? Why is it not okay to be in touch with our emotions and feeling and educate ourselves with how to cope with these emotions so we can be more productive human beings? Is it possibly because these emotions are so raw that most don’t know how to deal openly with them, or simply chose not to? That it makes one feel uncomfortable? Think about it – it makes total sense. Whether the loss was sudden or you were able to anticipate it, as soon as you found out that someone you love was dead or dying you began grieving. If ever a rationale for temporary insanity was needed, one could certainly be found among the range of reactions and emotions associated with grief and loss – shock, numbness, sadness, despair, loneliness, isolation, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, irritability, anger, increased or decreased appetite, fatigue or sleeplessness, guilt, regret, depression, anxiety, crying, headaches, weakness, aches, pains, yearning, worry, frustration, detachment, isolation, questioning faith – to name a few. Understandably, many will find it hard to acclimate to these emotions. Some may simply chose not to accept them as they are.
To simply describe it, one minute you’re walking along like normal and the next minute you feel like something unexplainable has invaded your body and your actions and reactions have become totally unpredictable and confusing. This is when you really start to feel crazy (you’re not). Friends don’t know what to say to you anymore. You’re confused about your purpose. Everything you knew about life has changed. You’re worried you are alienating people by talking about your loved one and the death. (At least I know I do. Myesha this, Myesha that.). You’re questioning your faith and life’s meaning. The experience of grief challenges our deepest sense of who we are. In the beginning you feel totally out of sorts – you feel like lashing out at everyone, crying over everything, wearing the same clothes for a week, INSANE. The first few weeks are foggy. You wake up each morning thinking maybe it was all a bad dream and you stumble through the day trying to make sense of life without your loved one. Just when you start to get a grip you are forced to step back into your pre-grief life. Like you are just supposed to pick up and move on like nothing happened. It seems absurd that the world would keep moving in the face of your tragedy, but it has. Life is forever changed and things feel meaningless, gray, and empty. You feel as if no one could ever possibly understand what you are feeling.
In search of something familiar you look to your primary support system, your family and friends, but they seem changed as well; some avoid you, some dote on you, some are grieving in ways you don’t understand, and some are critical of the way you are handling things. Everyone is searching for the “new normal”. But will there ever really be that “new normal”?
Grief looks different on everyone because we all experience grief in our own way, but on some level we all struggle to understand ourselves and the world around us in the face of profound loss. But the one thing I have learned is that you should not try to tolerate all of your sadness at once. Your body, mind, and spirit need time to work together to embrace the depth of your loss. I now realize it could take years before I will fully be confronted with the depth of my sorrow. The slow-growing nature of this awareness is good. I hope that my Friday blogs touch those who have been impacted by such grief in a way to let them know that all the emotions that they have kept bottled up for so long are not just your own. You are not the only one who feels this way. You are NORMAL and it’s okay to have these emotions. You are not crazy. As for me, I will continue to be patient with myself. For I am growing too. I can chose to either turn away from my own grief in denial or turn towards my inner feelings with compassionate, attention and a willingness to allow what I am feeling to be just that…..NORMAL. FIM <3F Mommy Love You Myesha!