Deep sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, heartache, heartbreak, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, woe, desolation, despair, mourning, bereavement, lamentation.
Although this is the official definition of grief, personally, I can define grief in one word…ugly. There is no perfect transition between denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. There is no straight line between point a to point e. I believe that if you truly grief losing someone, you bounce from a to c, c to b etc. It’s just ugly. Life never goes back to normal. All we can do is adjust to a new normal. Whatever that looks like. None of us like change but it is going to happen. You cannot lose someone you love and continue life just like it never happened. I do believe that for some people, when they have been sick for some time, when a death is expected, somehow it is almost comforting. When they finally take their last breath is it an end to pain and suffering. We do not want the ones that we love to suffer. I remember sitting by my dad’s bedside. It was so difficult to watch the biggest, strongest man that I ever loved, reduce to pain. I was prepared but not prepared. The aftermath of his passing has been a challenge. I have a mother to care for now. Her care has increased over the years and the responsibility falls to me. It’s extra time that I must give her. My life on hold. No doing what I want to do on days off from work. I do what she needs and take care of things. I have learned and adjusted to doing what needs to be done. Things that dad would have done or taken care of around the house. Help her make decisions etc. Do I want this job? Is this normal? No, but it is a responsibility that I have and I do it with joy.
What about the death that we don’t see coming? Those unexpected ones. We think we have more time. Valuable time. If I give you my time, I care about you and your life. We are only allowed so many times to circle the sun. Just like your checkbook, where you write the most checks equals what you value as the most important thing in your life. Where you spend the most of your time equals what you value the most in life. How on earth do you deal with those unexpected deaths? The ones that you think you have a lifetime with. The ones who give you joy. The ones who you depend on. The ones that you think will bury you instead of the other way around.
(This is the first part in a twelve part series. More to come.)