Monday, December 18, 2006

The journey

Grief is described as a journey. And no matter how much support you have, it is a journey you must make alone. No one else can feel your pain, or think your thoughts, or catch your breath for you.

I discovered yet another level to this grieving journey I am on. The feeling of betrayal. When those you love and care for so much decide that the way you are dealing with grief is not the correct way to do it. When they suddenly become uncomfortable with hearing your thoughts and feelings and even with being in your presence. When this happened to me, I felt as though my skin had been ripped away. I could feel the pain coursing through my bloodstream. Sounds odd, but it was a true, sharp, physical sensation. I wanted to escape it but I couldn't. It has moderated now, and left an ache in it's wake. I can deal with the ache. The urgent need to get away from it is gone. I wondered for a while if that is how people who are suicidal feel~ as if they must escape. I am not suicidal because I know that I am here for a reason~ one that is beyond my understanding. I value beyond measure anyone who has been willing to hear the depths of my pain. When I have to choke back mentioning my daughter I feel sick. My company today was not comfortable with the mention of Marissa's name. So I didn't say it. And I felt like I would throw up. I need to stop that. I want my living children to remember her and talk about her all the time, and I know they will take their cues from me.

I am not the same person I was on June 10, 2006. I will never be that person again. In a split second while holding my dying daughter I understood what truly matters in life. What most of us merely pay lip service to, suddenly made sense on the most basic level. I still feel that, but the question is, can I stay true to myself? It's proving to be harder than I thought it would be.

I don't write these things to make people feel uncomfortable or guilty or anything else. I write for myself and for those who unfortunately find themselves on a similar path. When I went looking for information such as this, I found very little. Grief is already very isolating. I want to make it OK to dive into the depths of emotion so that people can heal rather than suppress or ignore something so fundamentally important. Maybe I'll write a book (In my free time! Haha)

I have been doing some research into grieving customs and it seems that a year is generally the bare minimum for intense grief. I hereby claim my year. After that perhaps I will consider the claims that I need to start to feel better. How can I ever feel better if I only suppress the indescribable pain and don't feel it?


WendyLou said...

Grief is a very solitary experience. When my grandpa died, each of my family members grieved in their own way.

Part of me wishes we still wore black for a year after a death so everyone knew that we were in mourning, and could be especially kind.

I still grieve over my grandpa. I don't think I will ever get over his loss. He loved little babies and I can only imagine his delight in my tiny daughter. Or how he would tell my grandma and mom to back off. I can only imagine the loss of a child is so much worse. Claim your year. Claim however much time you need.

Anonymous said...

Everyone's grief is personal. I still grieve for my stepfather who died very tragically when I was 14. I am now 37. I keep having dreams with him showing up after all this time and acting like nothing ever happened. It makes me so sad. I considered him to be my Dad. He was a great influence on me and still is.
Try not to be too hard on those who wont speak your daughter's name. They proabably dont know what to do or what to say for fear of upsetting you. I am sure that they really worried about that. And there is no set time to grieve. Dont let anyone make you feel like you have a period in which you can grieve. As the years go by it will get easier but you will never forget. Trust me it sucks but it will get easier in time. Just hang in there.

Sassy Sistah said...

Dear Lavender Essence, my heart reaches out to you. I too have lost a child and believe me, I understand.

For more than a year I kept a grief journal. It helped enormously. I said all the things there that my friends, my family, couldn't bear to hear. I hope you will keep writing. I hope it will help you, as it helped me that first year.

It's been five years now for me and the hole in my heart and soul will always be there. I'm writing again, trying to keep what I write lighter now. Trying to find my way again. But you're right - you'll never be the same person again. Neither will I.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers...

barefoot mama said...

((((hugs)))) to all. Thank you so much for your comments.