When In Doubt, Grieve It Out

I posted this on my Facebook page yesterday:

 

It seemed to hit a nerve with people who completely understand what I’m going through. Right now, I wouldn’t wish this ever-present wave of nausea on anyone. That’s what grief consists of for me. One second, I’m my usual happy-go-lucky self and the next I feel a crushing amount of angst in my gut.

Grief makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong—that feeling you get when your stomach is in knots. Pepto-Bismol doesn’t help. Xanax doesn’t help. The only thing that makes me not feel like throwing up is being horizontal. Weird, right? Too bad staying in bed all day for the next three years isn’t an option right now. That’s called depression and it’s a completely different beast.

 

 

I’ve read up on what grief can do to your psyche. It works in mysterious ways. But whoever wrote about the “stages” people go through in the grieving process obviously hasn’t experienced them all at once—in meltdown mode over unwritten thank you cards. If Bounty is the “quicker picker upper”, my grief seems to be the “down and outer pouter.”

Whatever the case, I seem to be in the thick of it right now. Self-care and being smothered by my friends seems to be a solid outlet so I’m going to continue down that path. In the interim though, I needed to put my words out in to the universe to remind myself (and anyone in the same boat) that eventually it won’t be this bad. Or dramatic. Or overwhelming.

 

 

And here’s the other thing—there’s no rhyme or reason behind grief’s rationale (or lack thereof). Yesterday, Dad’s hospice sent me a nice letter wondering if I could fill out a survey to let them know if they could have done better during his final days. I filled that sucker out without batting nary one tear-stained eyelash. In fact, I was happy to do it.

A year from now, I’ll look back on this post and shake my head. Sure, I’ll still feel a twinge of guilt over still not sending thank you cards, but that’s simply because I’m my mother’s kid. Meanwhile, I’ll keep the cards for posterity. And because she’d be way more pissed that I spent perfectly good money on them and then threw them away.

6 thoughts on “When In Doubt, Grieve It Out

  1. Yeah, stages of grief is BS. It’s wave upon wave. And with no warning. I lost an aunt (who I’m named after) at the end of April. I lost a cousin who was younger than me at the end of June. And now another aunt (who is my godmother) is in the end stages of her life. It sucks!

  2. I have been there, three times. When I lost my Dad when I was 7, in 1974, I didn’t really understand it. As I grew up, I understood, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I still grieve 45 years later. Then my husband passed in 2006, and once again, I was hit by a ton of bricks. Add my Mother to that pile in 2011. I still have days where I don’t want to get out of bed, and all I can think about is needing them. I become an emotional wreck for days.

  3. First and foremost, so sorry for your loss. You describe grief so beautifully and honestly. My Dad died unexpectedly 30 years ago, and there are still times when I’m caught by surprise by sadness. My only consolation to offer is that fully feeling this now will serve you well as the years go by, tough as it is. It is also incredibly sad to feel little after a family member dies. I’ve experienced both, and I’ll take the grief associated with a loving relationship over unexpressed relief any time. Don’t worry about the cards; take good care of you.

  4. After my mom died, Busiek reminded me that grief isn’t linear. You never know what you’re going to get from day to day and the strangest things are going to trigger a crying or grief jag. Continue to be kind to yourself M2.

  5. The “stages of grief” weren’t meant to be used the way the commercial world took them. They are experiences that seem common to people, and it’s completely circular. M this just happened. In grief years, it was a second ago. Give yourself time and patience. And do what works and if that’s horizontal once in awhile that’s ok. You have a handle on isolation, so I don’t worry about that and besides you’ll call me if you get horizontal weird. You also don’t have a sib to diffuse this burden, so your experience is really, truly your own. Keep breathing. Know that this is how this shit goes. Give yourself some slack. Practice good self-care as much as you are able. I’m here. xo

  6. Thank You for your words and spilling out your guts in such an honest manner. My heart is sad for your loss, a loss I fear often. You take care of yourself, and I’ve always lived by going against what society has set as “how it’s done” (it being everything) Stopped conforming to Society 3 years ago, and began being my authentic self. I love to read your words, and listen to you on the radio. I hope you’ll feel better soon, and just know that you don’t have to grieve any certain way, any given time, for each of us it’s different. Talk to your Dad, out loud, for real…I have conversations with people whom I’ve lost over time, and it’s comforting. While at my Aunt’s gravesite, talking about things I was struggling about, I looked into the sky to see an angel formed in the clouds, I knew she was there with me and listening, but that gave me even more assurance. And the angel looked exactly like the one on her headstone. You’ve got this, remember, you do you, societal expectations need not apply.

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