November 20, 2008

on grief

Grief is such an odd animal. Part of you expects that you will wake up and find it's some part of a weird episode of Punk'd or a stupid joke a cruel person played on you. That denial and suspension of belief. But at some point it hits you, "they're dead...really dead" and nothing will bring them back to you.

During the initial period, it's easier to deal with grief as there are lots of people to help you through. You can laugh and smile - put on the stoic mask of a "good face" and people will whisper among themselves, "oh she's handling it so very well." You spend each day thinking to yourself, though it's painful and almost unbearable, it's worse to impose your grief on these well-meaning friends. You feel a bit guilty and wonder if you should be "okay" when the person that you held closely and loved dearly are gone. You may even laugh and then duck your head. And people are so grateful that they are not there holding this sobbing, studdering blob of sodden tissues and snot.

And you think of other people that knew the deceased. And you think, you have to be strong and be the support for them. You see them, after friends have left and they sitting there, silently sobbing - shoulders shaking and quiet tears run down their face. How can you place a burden on them by adding to their grief? So you try to be the strong one.

You run out of words - really, how many times can you say "thank you", or "they would have wanted it that way?" And you find yourself in this place where you don't want to talk. At all. There are no words to describe your, you don't talk. You convince yourself that no one wants to hear it. You feel this time limit - where you are being selfish to continue to talk about the pain. You're alone in a crowd of people.

The grief seems to be more than you can bear and you're wrapped in this cocoon of bricks and gravel that used to be your life. Shattered now and broken apart in pieces. And along with that comes a sense of our own life and .... eventual death. You think of things that needed to be changed - the things that you wish you had changed with that person when they were still alive. Guilt, regret, remorse. All of the lashes that we beat against our back. The rocks we place in our backpack as we attempt to climb the mountain out of this pit we've fallen into.

But, eventually it happens. You rejoin the land of the living. And though overcome from time to time by your grief, you live. Each and every day the living comes a bit easier and though the hole may never be completely filled and there is not a day that you don't think about that live. You remember the good times. You laugh again and smile. You bless the blessings that person gave to you. And again, you live.


  1. Grief comes in stages but I don't think it ever really goes away.

    My great friend Irish passes a year ago and I still think of him on occasions, wish he were here.

    They may be gone, myfriend, but never forgotten.

  2. you are so sweet. i'm sending you my best wishes and a big hug. xoxo

  3. Being a crying, sniveling mess is OK sometimes. Yes, the laughter comes back, and the memories become untainted by the saintly glow we give the recently passed, and then we know we really will make it through.


i feel as if each comment was between us as we sat and sipped something warm....i love to hear what you're thinking.