Thursday, November 27, 2008

...across the room to admit my condition....

This business of grieving is a perplexing journey. I'm not the sort of person who likes anything to drag on and on. I get so impatient just waiting for a flu or cold to run it's course so I can get on with life. Well, I've discovered that there is no way to hurry grief along and make it go away. It reminds me of giving birth to a baby. Once the contractions start they will not go away until the baby is born. So it is with grief. Once it starts it has to run it's course.
The perplexing part is that sometimes after a really dark day I might wake up the next morning feeling basically normal again. Then a florist shows up at the door with an amazing bouquet of white roses with one pink rose in the centre. I know what the pink rose is for and I lose it on the spot and cry myself a river of tears once again. Suddenly the loss is so fresh and so huge I feel like I'm carrying the weight of the world on my back. It is too heavy for me to carry that load and then God reminds me that He will carry it and He will also carry me. He has to because I feel unable to walk on my own.
Today I looked at a picture of my sister and for a moment thought "No, it can not be. She can not be gone." Then reality sets in again as I look around the house at the flower arrangements and cards from family and friends, and listen to the comforting music on CD from another friend and I know it is real. And so is this grief journey I am on. How long is this road anyway? From past experience it seems to me it goes on for a long time but eventually the pain subsides and we are left with the memories we love to cherish. But then I have never lost a sister like Jean before so I don't know how long this path is and where it will take me.
It is a lonely road since no one can walk it with you or for you. Yes I surround myself with family and friends who so obviously feel my pain but they cannot walk in my shoes. Our grief journeys are as unique and different as our personalities and relationships with one another. Just as dying is a solo flight, the grieving process is one we journey alone.
I can not imagine doing this without the support and understanding of my wonderful family and my awesome friends. They seem to know when to give me space, when to barge into my life, and when to let me know they are close by. It couldn't get any better than that! I am truly thankful!


Jobina said...

I never actually thought about it before...whether grieving was "alone" or "communal". In some ways it would be nice if we could dress in sackcloth and pour ashes on our heads and wail at the gates, if we could be so public about our grief. On the other hand, so much of it is also personal reflection and remembering.
I really don't understand grief or what to do with the feelings that come out of it. I don't know how to be a help to others who are grieving either. I end up, both for myself and others, just ignoring it and hoping it goes away. I just don't want to re-open the wound and cause more pain. Not the best response, I know. I guess I'm still learning.

Michele said...

Sometimes I think it would be great to grieve communally and I guess that's what funerals are for. I don't understand why grief goes on so long or why it's so horribly painful, it just is. I can't begin to imagine your grief...I know how destroyed I feel. I doubt very much that I'm one of the people who instinctively knows when you need space and when you don't, but I love you huge and I'm praying that God will help me see when to bug you and when to leave you alone. ;)


Elayne said...

Jobina...I emailed you a comment regarding your comment. I guess I should be doing that here? I don't know the protocol!
Michele....I don't think there is ever a time I don't want to talk to or see somebody. I just haven't felt like being with groups of people. I don't quite know why. I guess because they are usually "chit-chatty" and I'm not like that these days (for the most part).

Stacey said...

Sorry I am so behind in blogs these days. On the otherhand there always seems to be something new to read somewhere. That all sounds healthy and normal and natural. It is however a personal journey. I relate to most of what you are saying you are experiencing. But all the little internal thoughts are different I'm sure.

How long does it all take? Who knows. Just let it flow.

Love you

Anonymous said...

I too feel quite useless in helping others when it comes to grief. I KNOW that it is a very much "alone" emotion and I'm afraid to walk in and cause more hurt! So I simply sit in "our" (God's and my) alone place and cry with sadness and compassion. I just have to trust that God will somehow translate those tears to the special griever in my life and comfort them in the ONLY way God can! (Much love from Renita)

Elayne said...

Oh, yes, He does, Renita and I thank you. You just do what comes natural and all is well my friend. Hugs, Elayne