Good evening Readers,
A few weeks ago, a good friend’s father died unexpectedly and they were rather close as I understand it. This post has been developing in my mind ever since. So, I just wanted to take this time to state a few things for those who may not know loss or have never lost a loved one.
I’m sure you know that experiencing and living with grief and loss is not easy but it is not necessarily what you think. Grief has nothing to do with the person who died. Grief is the person-left-behind’s way of dealing with a future-that-will-never-be. It is different for everyone and lasts a lifetime. That person will always be gone and they will always miss that person.
Remember: THIS IS PERFECTLY NORMAL AND OK!!
Grief is an unique experience for each person. Some people get sad to the point of clinical depression, like me. Some people get angry, mad, and just cannot believe that person died! Like they could choose it. Some people try to ignore it and repress their feelings–this is so incredibly unhealthy that not only will it hurt that person and their life, but can deeply stunt emotional development as well as acceptance of this loss by their own children who, depending on age an development, may have an even more difficult time understanding the situation due to lack of maturity (as I understand it from reading the book “Motherless Daughters”).
There is nothing wrong with offering to help someone in their time of grief. Just remember that they may not realize they need the help and be there to help at a moments notice, especially with the every day things.
The first year, from personal experience, is the most difficult.
For me, so many things reminded me of my Mother after she died that I had full blown paralyzing panick attacks when these reminders hit me and trying to drive when you see an identical make, model, and color of your dead mother’s car is not easy in heavy traffic (her death was expected).
As a way for my brain to handle it, I had about a year and a half series of this continuing dream nearly every night of her having come back to life (did the whole Buffy the Vampire Slayer crawl out of own grave thing), and when doctors couldn’t figure out how, they let her go home. She had unfinished business is what she told me–I never knew what–but I was given more time to say goodbye. Most of the dreams were just ordinary occurrences of daily life where I got to be around her more often than I was able during the last few years of her life with a few serious ones, like conversations I didn’t get to have with her and needed. When it was after the first year anniversary, in my dreams I got scared she was gonna die again. I didn’t know if I could handle it. This started building up and in my dreams, she had a talk with me that she was meant to die but was allowed to come back to complete what was needed. In the end in my dreams, she died the way she had in real life, except she was in a luxurious hospice.
It is now three years since my Mother’s death, while the reminders do not hurt so much any more, I am so thankful for them. It is nice to have little reminders of my Mom around me. I even have a wonderful picture of her my Sister took. My Mom’s birthday is rough still and my siblings and I help each other out with ideas of how to celebrate it in her memory.
This is just one way–my way–that one can grieve.