On second thought (or insert whatever cardinal number you choose for how many times I have rethought this), I'm not finished grieving.
Remember that day when I thought I was? When my tears dried up right in the middle of my twelfth anniversary and I declared myself free?
(Oh, Tricia. Your naïveté is so darling.)
It was a milestone, that day. It was a turning point. And the emotions I have felt and carried and processed in the weeks since then have been different from the emotions prior to that day.
But I'm not done. Nope.
Grief is perhaps a stone I carry in my pocket.
And sometimes it grows legs and chases me down. And sometimes it wraps its iron chain around my neck.
And sometimes it just sits, smooth as a worry stone, silent as a memory, along for the ride.
But gone? No. Not gone.
I give myself extra points for being able to say, publicly, "'Member that thing I said? I was wrong."
Thank you for not saying, Yeah, I totally wondered about that. I didn't think you were done.
My brother died two years ago at the all-too-young age of 34 of an undiagnosed disease. I, too, carry that rock around in my pocket. Some days it's a gentle reminder and other days it's the anchor about to drowned me. Be easy on yourself in this process. The people who think there are proper steps and time frames to go through usually mean well but are oh-so-unaware how hard and hurtful their comments actually are.
Who wouldn't want to be at that place in grief that one hopes and prays for some milestone of progress to the proverbial "end" of it? No blame, no guilt, no "told-you-so", no "knowing" wink from me. Just thankful for your open heart and thoughtful mind of all God offers you for comfort and strength.
We all have our milestones in grief. Each one of us travels a similar, but different road. We all grieve for different losses. Yesterday, I was finally able to wash the dog slobber off my windows. For 2 years it seemed to comfort me, that my best friend was still there. Yet it didn't hurt to consider washing it off and I did it without any trouble.
We all have our milestones!
I haven't blogged it yet, but I was thinking about the ocean & beach the other day...the struggle to get beyond the breaking waves so you can enjoy the raft you dragged along... and yet, just a bit farther out are more waves, and further are more.... glad you got a little breather on the raft - here's another wave, and it won't be the last, but there will also be more spots to pause & enjoy the colors on the horizon, the sun/moon beams on the water, and maybe even a dolphin or two
I give you extra points too. You are awesome.
Tricia, be gentle with yourself. Your grief only speaks to the depth of love you shared. And that is an awesome experience so dont be too hard on yourself.
I heard somewhere that grief doesn't go away as much as it starts to more easily interweave itself into your everyday living. In other words, the heavy stone around your neck days happen a little less and the smooth worry-stone days happen a little more. Like the fingers on praying hands woven together. The grief is always there.... It just starts looking like the other fingers.
We finish a burger. We finish a shower. We finish a project. In contrast, we never finish expeditions of the heart, for our travels through the countryside of love, commitment, and loss roll ever onward. The best we can say is that we come to know this heart-land, and understand its geography well, so we no longer startle at the next turn or valley. Christian faith teaches us that people live forever. So do our connections with them.
Yes yes.... this too was a revelation for me. It is all part of grief process, really. Those days of freedom and near-euphoria that you are "done with sorrow!" can be deceiving. However, the good news is that you will have more of them, more good days than bad, more normalcy than craziness...and gradually life will take on its full color again. But those grief waves come too, unbidden and without warning...and may come now and again for the rest of your life. Though with less intensity and less frequency. It is all normal... Everything is "normal" when your life has been invaded by the impossibly abnormal.
I lost my mom almost 2 years ago and I have realized that the grieving never ends . . . it just comes in waves. To encourage you, it does become easier with time . . . truly. And I find that I remember all of the good about her life, the gifts she left, how much she loved me and even things that I would never think about, like how much I love crafting or magazines because of her. May be different for a husband, but I do know that I can grieve at the sight of something or a smell or a memory. But now instead of tearing up, I tend to smile . . . and my heart is truly filled with thankfulness. Hopefully this isn't too pie-in-the-sky . . . it has just been my own experience.
I appreciate your words about this.... I am 31 and have a 20 month old daughter and an 8 week old son and my mom passed away a month ago. She had gallbladder cancer. Sometimes I feel like I can't get my head above water to breath but keep trusting in the Lord to get me through each minute. It gives me hope to read your words that some day the tears will turn into a smile of good memories.
Katie-my heart goes out to you! I was 30 when my dad passed away at the age of 52, 3 years ago today! Tricia's post is beautiful and painful at the same time. We realize that the grief will never go away. The intense pain will lessen over time, I promise, but there will always be something missing in our lives. You will always cry tears over your precious mother, but you will be able to smile again one day!