Tag Archive | grief

Playing it Straight

It is amazing the how different life is when you are an adult than when you thought it would be as a child. As a child, you don’t understand things like working, or managing money, or getting up early, or even things like laundry. If you are lucky, these things seem to just magically happen.

And there are things that you assume will happen when you are adult that really doesn’t. For example, No one has died from falling in quicksand, or being eaten by a giant snake. I have not made millions from discovering a new kind of metal that could replace everything. And my parents did not live forever.

When I was younger, and even up until a few years ago, I thought healing was a straight line. I thought everything worked in a straight line – love, career, playing, shopping, figuring out what you wanted to do, making decisions, even being happy. But as an adult you learn that nothing is a straight line. Because we are different, and we have paths on which to meander and learn. There on some paths which we are supposed to only visit, some where we learn valuable, maybe painful lessons, and some that delivery us away from danger. After all, it’s a jungle out there.

And then there is the path of healing, which I also thought would be a straight line. I was wrong. what I have learned, is that this path too meanders. There are good days and bad days, or weeks or even months. There are waves. Sometimes those waves come crashing down and you feel like you were drowning even though you thought you were on solid ground. And sometimes you have days where you feel like all of it is done, and you are great. And in time, those stretches get longer and longer…but still there is no straight line.

And that is OK, because there is no timeline on healing. And who said it has to be a straight line anyway? I think that is a myth, just like quicksand. The problem comes when you try to force it, and deny that any more healing needs to be done.

Let’s face it, life a series of paths we must take. Some of those paths are better or more enjoyable than others. But would we want it any other way? The easy answer is yes, but really how deep of as faceted of a life would that be? An easy life would be easy, but we would miss so much depth and width of the person we were meant to be. And while the easy answer would be to have a compass in the great journey of life, would it really help? And would you actually want to use it? Because some of the unplanned paths we take, make our lives so much more rich, even if they require some care and healing afterwards.

So don’t play it straight. Go on those twists and turns. Give yourself the permission to take as much time, and as many paths as it takes to heal. It’s ok. Don’t fight the current, just ride the wave.

Life is short and straight lines are boring.

The Sob in the Process

Life is basically a mixed bag of whatever it is you get. there will be the good, and and the ugly and everything in between. As a whole, life is good. I have a great job in a great career, I have the best friends in the world, I have a roof over my head, and am reasonably happy.

But the last few weeks have been especially hard. And that is the thing about life, it is cyclical. I remember reading a book called The Prophet when I was 19. It changed my life. It was rich in truth and perspective. It challenged me and made me think in a way that I had never before. And in that book there was a passage about joy and sorrow:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. 
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced. 
When the reassure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

There is an urban rumor in this world that you are never supposed to be sad, or depressed, or angry, or melancholy, or anything other than positive and happy. There is a myth that these feelings are wrong and that there is something wrong with us if we do feel these emotions, because of the law of attraction…and of course we attract what we feel and where we are emotionally, right? WRONG.

You must feel those emotions in order to work through them in a healthy way and to get to what is waiting on the other side. If we do not allow ourselves to feel our feelings, even those that we perceive to be negative, then we will not work through the process and we will end up emotionally muted and unable to grow. If we do not deal with those negative emotions then they will cause us to be bitter. Whoever said we are not ever supposed to be uncomfortable in any way in life, or that we must get rid of negative emotions immediately was probably emotionally stunted himself.

And I will never allow myself to be a bitter shell of a human being. So, I have been crying, actually I have been sobbing to get all of he pain out. The last few weeks has been excruciating. And I live alone. So I must grieve alone, which is exhausting. Grief is exhausting enough, but to do it alone is exceptionally tiring.

So last night, I grabbed my biggest stuffed animal Ricky, sat on my bed, held him tightly as all the pain poured out of my eyes onto my cheeks. I buried my face in his soft polyester fur and let out audible sobs, barely able to breath at a few points. Time stood still as i just cried and cried. I have been through three family deaths and the death of three friends…alone. By now I should be a pro at this, but I am not.

The latest death has brought up all the pain of the last. A grief counselor suggested I have PTSD from my parents death, and all the events before and after. Indeed, you can have it from physical attacks, war, or extremely emotionally traumatic events. And if that is the case, the latest death and all the ugliness surrounding it has been a trigger. And so I must process and deal with it.

And one day, maybe I will have a partner with whom I can share this burden. Because it is hard to handle all of the bad by ones self, and being strong is exhausting. And then I can also share all the wonderful things too. I look forward to that day, I look forward to not having to shoulder all of my world alone. It is a heavy load.

Until then, I turn up the music to drown out the sobs, grab Ricky and cry my heart out. Actually cry the pain out. I look forward to the day that there are no tears. I look forward to truly being able to live in joy once more. It is coming…