Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Assault of Grief

It is a strange thing to grieve, to need to grieve. It assaults you, comes in waves, attacks at inopportune moments and lasts for years. You cannot gauge or predict how long it will take to go through the grieving process. It varies from person to person and is not something to be ignored and brushed away. You can't brush it away in fact, because it will jump out when you least expect it, demanding attention and refusing to be set aside again. If we choose to resist facing it, it affects our mental health until we stop and look at it face to face.

I grieve. Some days more than others. Some things I take out in little pieces because I fear that to face it all at once would be more than I could bear, and yet there are times when it threatens to overwhelm me and I must find a space to breathe.

I have tried to resist grieving, to put it aside until a better time, but there truly is no better time. If we grieve in the moment of our pain, it is easier to own, easier to share. When we put it off, we are misunderstood, we lose the support of our immediate community. There is still support, but we must be willing to seek it because most will think we are "over it". The truth is that the thing that makes us grieve, also makes us who we are. It becomes a part of us, a part of who we are.

My grief has brought me to envy the sibling relationships of other people, to encourage them to appreciate every moment, every memory they make with their siblings, to not let insignificant things come between them. There are days when just hearing someone talk about their sister brings me to tears, days when I still, almost 4 years later, think to pick up the phone to call either my brother or my sister, only to remember they aren't there.

The truth is though, that I will forever carry them in my heart, that they will never be far from me unless I chose to let them go. If I refuse to talk about them, if I refuse to remember them or look at their pictures, then they will disappear. I will not allow them to disappear. I will tell their stories, and hopefully in the telling, they will live on and enable others to live past the moment of their pain.

Maybe, in our grief, we can help others walk the pathway of life in a better, truer way. It is one way that our pain can bring good out of bad.

It's another Blog Carnival Tuesday! This week's word is "Grief". To read other blogs on this word, click here.


Peter P said...

Thank you for sharing such a painful story.

I have never experienced what you have experienced but my heart goes out to you and I'll be praying for you!

Thank you so much for joining the carnival!

Anonymous said...

What a touching post, Sarah. I love that you said:

"I will tell their stories, and hopefully in the telling, they will live on and enable others to live past the moment of their pain."

Thank you for this!

Glynn said...

My two brothers and I were born far apart -- stretching over 18 years. We weren't close as children -- but we've gotten closer as we've aged. And the relationships are important. Thanks for the post, Sarah.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Hello lovely Sarah,

This is a beautiful post -- from a beautiful woman with a beautiful heart.