Sunday, August 19, 2012
Caught In The Grief Cycle
Grief is an interest thing. As anybody who has ever lost a loved one well knows. From the moment you learn that your loved one has passed on, you are involuntarily strapped into the worst emotional roller coaster ride of your life! You feel as though you are completely out of control as you spiral and spin around the sharp, sudden, emotional corners, and ride the merciless waves, often times more turbulent than anything you've known before. You begin to feel as though Bi-Polar Bob and Menopause Mary had a baby and that baby is you!
There are those moments when you cannot stop crying. And then there are the moments, for that second when you first open your eyes - when everything is normal. And then you remember. And your heart breaks all over again.
There is no timeline for grief. There is no schedule to follow. Some people will move through the stages at a swifter rate than other people will. Some people internalize their grief and others will lash out.
I have lost loved ones in my past, but this time was different. I suppose that typically when you lose a loved one, there is little to no notice. So the shock is like a sucker punch. In the case of my Father's passing... I knew that it was coming. I did not have an expected time of death .... and there were many times in the early months where I had hope that things might turn around. That he might survive. But eventually it became clear that this journey was going to end in only one way. Then the hope turned to fear. And my breath was cut as though I had been breathing through a straw for the past few months.
I am still not sure if a prolonged death is better or worse than a surprise death. An advantage is that you get to say goodbye. And during the months and weeks leading up to Dad's passing, I thought that I was bracing myself for the moment to arrive. I knew that it would still be hard - very hard. But I believed - hoped, that it would somehow soften the blow.
Although I am thankful that my Father is no longer suffering. No longer in agony. No longer with broken bones and dis-ease ravaging his body. But I cannot say it is easier than when my Granny or Aunt passed away without notice.
The loss leaves a deep, deep void in your world. In your heart. In your soul. There are so many questions, and emotions. Sadness, Shock, Anger, Denial. A great sense of feeling lost.
In my case, it certainly did not help with everything that transpired just prior to - and following his death. It caused my grief for the loss of my Father to be interrupted. That makes me angry!
Over this past week I have often wondered if succeeding in crushing and destroying me was worth it. If the outcome was satisfactory to the goal. I sure hope so.
Last night I spoke with a Pastor ... seeking some direction. I miss praying with Dad. And although it wasn't the same ... in the moment - it helped. A bit.
I know that time will heal my heart. That my knowledge of Dad being in a better place comforts my soul.
Now all I can do is fasten my seat-belt and see how things unfold as I attempt to move forward with my life. One minute - sometimes one second at a time.
One blessing is that I now can speak with my Dad any time I want or need to. 24 hours a day. Without having third parties privy to our conversations. Dad's and my conversations were always best when we were alone. Unguarded. Uncensored. They were easy, freeing, fun, thoughtful, loving, insightful, and I forever will treasure them.
I take full advantage of this blessing. I speak to Dad constantly. I carry him with me. He lives in my heart.
He knows my pain ...
He knows my grief ...
He knows my love ...
He sees all ...
And with He and the Lord ...
In time ...
I will be whole again.