Grief is a difficult emotion to describe. Something that is felt not only when death takes those we care about from us, grief is powerful and often consuming. Grief has a way of following you, no matter how quickly you try to run from it. It could be silent for years and then in an instant, you’re overcome with waves of it that are debilitating in nature.
This time of year always seems to consume me with feelings of grief and thoughts of death. It isn’t because I am a morbid person who can’t seem to find the happiness in life. The majority of the time, I am actually a very happy and satisfied person in life. This time of year just overwhelms me with loss that is difficult to describe. My first significant loss was when my father passed away in 1998 on the 8th of March. Five years later, my maternal grandfather died on the 1st of March. I was close to both in different ways and loosing them left gaping holes in my heart that will truly never be filled.
Besides these deaths, there is also the end of my marriage. I wasn’t with my ex husband for very long but when I married him, it was a life long commitment I was making. At the time, I didn’t know his true nature and didn’t experience anything that could be contrived as a warning of his abusive and philandering nature. I was young and I was in love. That created a pair of blinders for me that ignored what was more than likely obvious to many of those around me. A year after we were married, I discovered some things that I won’t go into detail here about. There is no need to air my dirty laundry out for everyone to see. Lets just say that the man I thought I was marrying and the man I actually married were polar opposites of one another. Despite finding out some of the things I did, I tried to make it work, attempting counsling and trying to find a way to reconcile with him. It quickly became obvious that reconcilation wasn’t going to be a viable option and that the best and safest thing for me was to leave without a look back.
It took me almost 6 years to obtain a divorce from him… and once it was finally awarded, I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from my life. But at the same time, I was overwhelmed with grief. The loss of a relationship or the finalization of something as profound as divorce comes with its own brand of mourning. It wasn’t that I was mourning the bad relationship I’d left behind. It was more that I mourned the innocence I’d lost and the years I’d lost over him. There was also, to a point, a loss of ideals that I once held true. During most of the time we were separated, I vowed I would never marry again. After all the hell I went through, I never wanted someone to have the power to put me through that again.
Since then, I’ve worked through those feelings and I am now engaged to a wonderful man who is amazing. Through his love and encouragement, I have found a sense of peace and healing that has helped me overcome some of the grief that I experienced when my divorce was finalized.
Grief following a death is a different beast all together. It is consuming and often overwhelming. Just when you think you’ve jumped that hurdle and things start hurting less, you trip over the next one and have to start all over. Several days ago, I blogged about my dad and how his passing affected me. I went into some detail the grief I experienced but really skimmed over most of the details.
In all honesty, much of that time is a blur for me. I was so consumed with missing my dad and a sense of guilt resulting from an argument we’d had just two days earlier, that I can’t really tell you where one day ended and another began for me. I know my mom tried to get me some help and counseling but I was very resistant to it for a very long time. I didn’t want to share with anyone how I thought for the longest time that I was the reason he died. He’d grounded me because I failed to do something I’d been asked to do and as a result, my plans for attending a school event with friends were canceled. In the typically overly dramatic teenage girl way, I yelled at him, telling him that I hated him and wished he was dead. So when two days later, he died, I didn’t attribute that to the fact he had been very sick for years with a severe heart condition that required a transplant. I merely thought that in some way, God had heard the words I said and taken my dad from me as a punishment of some sort.
I was angry for a very long time. I refused to go to the counseling sessions my mom set up for me and I wouldn’t talk much about him dying. I spent most of my nights crying myself to sleep and most of my days fighting to not cry. The face that many of my friends saw at school was a mask, hiding behind that inside, each day that went by without my dad being there, a part of me died a little. His death broke me in a way that took me years to piece myself back together into something that resembled a normal human being.
So this time of year, its full of loss for me. And I try to take it a day at a time, a moment at a time, as to not become overwhelmed or fall back into a toxic emotional state that made me a shadow of the person I really am. I still mourn for my dad and that grief I feel will be forever present in my life. There is just simply a place in a girls heart that her dad fills that no other person can.
The grief is always there, but most days, it is like an annoying companion. After a while, you learn to simply acknowledge its presence then ignore it for the remainder of the day. It is really the only way I have found to get through the day without becoming overwhelmed by it. There is no right way or wrong way to handle grief and it can vary from person to person. For me, what helps on the really bad days is to share my thoughts and feelings. In the past, this has been done either with a poem or writing of some sort… and to this day, I have found this to be the most cathartic way of dealing with what I am feeling. I’ve tried offering it up to the gods and have found that the pressing response I’ve always felt from them was that I needed to find a healthy way to deal with it and not let it consume me. Writing has become that for me.
So my question for you is, in what way do you work through your grief or moments of extreme emotion? And have you ever said something to a person, only to have something happen later that caused you extreme turmoil over the words spoken?
- Hopeful Grief: Personal Examples by Mark D. Roberts (trinityspeaks.wordpress.com)
- Connected in Grief and Sadness (walkinthemud.wordpress.com)
- Hopeful Grief: Is It Possible? by Mark D. Roberts (trinityspeaks.wordpress.com)
- Learn How to Overcome Grief in New Xulon Press Title (prweb.com)
- Akilah Oliver & the Legacy of Grief (bilerico.com)
- Grief: Turning the Grieving to their own form of Success (jtarb.wordpress.com)
- Grief in a Professional Setting (namasteconsultinginc.com)
- Giggling grief (jmgoyder.com)
- Divorce (ascottlcsw.wordpress.com)
- Surviving Loss & Grief: Karen M. Wyatt MD Announces the Launch of Two Free E-books (prweb.com)
- Heal Grief Mindfully – Free Yourself From The Emotion (hofholistichealingcenters.com)
- Love and Grief (shoulderfriends.wordpress.com)
- Grief (cozyblanketsnowflakerepetitioncompulsion.wordpress.com)
- “Recovery” From Grief (joyblog.spiralingup.net)
- New Resources on Adolescent Grief and Bereavement (prweb.com)
- Grief (cancerwhattodoorsay.wordpress.com)
- Grief (akissofbliss.wordpress.com)