Grief has no boundaries…no rules…
There isn’t this magic bucket that once filled with tears the grief is over. There isn’t a magic clock with a timer that runs out and DING it’s time for it to be over. No, grief is very different for every person. And yet, so much of it the same. There are times of sadness, anger, disbelief, back to sadness, no ones cycle of grief is exactly the same.
If you haven’t experienced death close to you it WILL happen. For many it isn’t until their parents grow old, for many, like me, whose parents never grew old, you experience the pain much earlier.
My dad, he was here today, gone tomorrow. An aortic aneurysm took his life at 57. No time to say goodbye, I love you, I’m sorry…just gone. At first I was shocked, and you go into business mode. So much to be done, then eventually the breakdown once its all done. Then I thought of all the things I should have said to him. The regret is the hardest stage for me…and trust me there is a stage of regret regardless of the circumstances of someones passing.
My mom, well, we had months to say goodbye. Lung cancer took her at 60. The long drawn out process of knowing someones dying gives you time to say everything you can think of to say. Then, they are gone. Then you go into business mode again. Then its done and that breakdown starts again. You still think of things you wanted to say, you still have a stage of regret. Even with all that time.
What I’ve learned about grief is that no one can tell you how to deal with it, only how THEY deal with it in hopes that you can take something helpful and positive with you to help you.
I’ve watched my sister in law bury her 2 teenage girls after a deadly car crash. I’ve watched families bury soldiers who died in war, or came home from war so damaged the war took them after the fact. I’ve watched as friends and family have buried babies from SIDS. Grief I share in but cannot understand the way that only they can. I assure you that when you do share in that grief with them, their load gets a little bit lighter. Just to simply know someone is there trying to understand and share in your pain. It’s real. And it helps.
Grief also comes in another form. I have lost 10 babies to miscarriage. Starting as a teen…in my 20s, and in my 30s. I am lucky, I had 3 beautiful children on my own and many sent to me in other times of my life I will always count as mine, even if I did not birth them! But I assure you this….whether you know you are pregnant for 2 days, 2 weeks, or 2 months before you miscarry, the love you have for that baby is REAL just as the love I have for my 3 here on earth is REAL. Therefore the grief is also VERY real.
If you have experienced, or are experiencing this remember not to be too hard on yourself. Grief doesn’t get just easier one day. It does however get different. And from there you deal with it better and easier for the most part. Daddy has been gone 13 years. His birthday, my birthday (he ALWAYS made a big deal about it), his death date, and his favorite holidays but not a day goes by I don’t think of him and miss him, and honestly there are days, where for no obvious reason, I simply break down and cry throughout the day. Mom 8 years gone, my nieces 13 years gone, same dates of theirs get me. And somedays for no reason. And you know what….that’s OK!
One thing getting older has showed me is that these people aren’t completely gone from us. They left a piece of themselves in us, in our children, in their coworkers, in the things they loved. You only must stop for a moment and you will see and feel it sometimes. The missing them will never end. Grief will always be a part of your life. But when it happens I simply reflect on leaving a piece of myself in each and every person I can. Our bodies may not be immortal, but the pieces of our soul we leave with those we love just very well might be!