Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hello Grief, come sit a while.

A few years ago, I totally lost myself in sorrow.  When three of my relatives died within a 4 month period, I just got so sad that I looked so hard for a diversion that I couldn't see straight.  I made mistakes.  At some point in time in life I guess we all do.  We all screw up and we can blame it on whatever makes us feel justified, but what I know now is that I wasn't justified simply because of the pain I felt.  That was then - this is now.  Now I feel the onset of that same overwhelming sorrow.  What I think I have learned is to just SIT in it.  Let myself feel the pain each day until it begins to lighten up - that is, not to try and escape it, but to feel it wash over me, acknowledge it for what it is (grief) and then try to release it each day. 

I lost my aunt, as you know, about 11 days ago.  Yesterday I found out that a new friend, a person I'd recently tried hard to help and then strangely gotten attached to, died in the wee hours of the morning.  Someone reminded me that death comes in "3's."  I'm trying to ignore this superstition because I don't know that my heart can take another loss right now.  Normally I'm chatty, feel pretty okay about life, despite my sometimes stressful job.  Right now, I don't want to talk.  I don't have anything to say but a simple question to the Universe - "Why?"  I know that death is a part of life.  And if I didn't already get this notion, my job would have taught me well over the last three years.  But lately it seems that people are dying in middle age - in their 40's, 50's, and 60's.  And a lot of people are dying.  I'm sure it's proportional to the population - maybe a result too of our toxic environment.  The Bible says that our days are numbered from the start - that God knows when each of us will go.  It's predetermined how and when we die.  I don't know about that necessarily because some things just seem so freakishly odd that I just can't figure how or why it should have gone down that way.  But then, I don't have that supreme understanding of the way the world works.  I wish I did.

Right now I guess I'm gonna concentrate on being sad.  Sounds weird doesn't it?  6 years ago I was doing everything I could to distract myself from the sadness, but that lesson is learned.  There's no escaping what the heart truly feels.  An old adage tells us not to wallow in sorrow or self pity, but I say that you should - at least for a time.  If you don't feel it, sort through it, try to understand and come to terms with it - then it will eventually catch up to you anyway.  Like that day in 2005 when I bit down into an old lady's teacake cookie and cried for half an hour.  The taste of that cookie reminded me of my Granny whose loss I hadn't fully mourned.  Grief sneaks up on you throughout your life.  You'll never really be finished with it.  It does get easier though, as I finally learned once I let myself know that heavy-hearted, there's an elephant standing on my chest - feeling.  Sooner or later the elephant doesn't feel so heavy, doesn't take your breath away quite as bad, kinda backs over into the corner of that room in our minds where we store the painful stuff that is quite definitely part of living a full life.  The heart takes chances we sometimes can't help.  We love when we do - and there's no choosing who we love and when that love takes hold of us.  That love that we feel, that genuine concern for another person above and beyond what we feel for ourselves - that is where the grief comes from.  But as another old saying goes, "tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all."

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