I think the reason so many people give us, the (still) grieving “helpful” but (unintentionally)hurtful advice to move on, focus outward, suck it up, or otherwise “get over it” is because OUR GRIEVING MAKES THEM UNCOMFORTABLE
.It may be because they love us and don’t want to see us hurt and suffering, and they simply want to make it better. Most men have an incurable fix-it mentality (remember “Men are from Mars”?). Grief is the ultimate state of “broken.” My sweet husband also lost his mother to cancer 10 years ago. He knows the pain I feel, I think.My father died suddenly a year ago, on December 1. He had pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable wasting disease that slowly robs the body of the ability to absorb oxygen. He likely had an embolism or aneurysm, because he simply collapsed and died in a few minutes. Mom succumbed 3 months later to the breast cancer that had recurred, metastasized in her bones. This is my first Christmas without both of them, the first anniversary of Daddy’s death, my first birthday as an orphan.
Being Orphaned at any Age Redefines you as a Person
Becoming an orphan at any age redefines you. I’m in my 50s, but I still relied on my parents for advice, confirmation, support and love. I talked to them daily. Every time I see a flower, work my garden, smell cookies, eat a banana, have an argument or look in the mirror, I miss them. I reach for the phone to call them before I realize they are dead and the grieving pops up again.
Don’t Tell Me How to Feel
Yesterday’ holiday party at work caused the background simmering of sadness to rise to the surface. Well-meaning coworkers who thought they had the right to say so told me it was time for me to “remember my parents through celebration.” When I told them it was too soon, that the anniversary effect was weighing heavily on me, and I had a RIGHT TO BE SAD….
On person suggested that I was persisting in my grief because I never had children (and now grandchildren) to distract me…yet another source of sadness for me after 12 miscarriages.
Another person got angry with me.
We All Walk along Grief’s Path, but Differently
Grief is universal. At some point everyone will experience it. Grief is unique. It’s different for everyone. We all have to walk a different path, and not everyone will reach a happy place, unfortunately. We don’t have to walk alone. Some walk with families, friends or lovers to hold them, dry their tears or comfort them. Others walk with their God or their spirit guide.
I walk with Angels , my cats, and my lovely, sweet husband. I know it’s a long, long journey, and sometimes I have to retrace my steps. Sometimes I take a turn and find myself back where I started. The end won’t be the one I planned, but it will be interesting along the way.