For Chip: He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. —Unknown

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Grief is Alive and Well

It's 4:00am and I will be at work soon.  Thank God for work.  I hope that I will be so busy today that I will forget the pain. The "pain" is not something that is visible.  The pain is a deep gut wrenching feeling that robs one of their spirit.  But wait I have many blessings.  I have the most gorgeous granddaughter, talented, brilliant, and loveable adult children, a beautiful place to live, and friends that would do anything for me. Furthermore, I have seen a counselor that gave me hope, but there is only so much they can say or do.  I think I left with more questions than answers and a debit of $150. 

My youngest son had very good advice for someone consumed with grief.  He said that I was in the twilight years, and that I should love myself and enjoy every day as a gift. After I remarked that  
being in the twilight years  sounded gloomy he explained that it did not really revolve around age and could apply at any time of life.  How would I know that my youngest son who loved superman pajamas and always slept with the family cat would give me "Hallmark based" and incredibly wise advice as a young man.  He is correct in his assessment.    I have so much to live for and I need to enjoy every minute of it. However, when you have a parent that does so much for you, and maybe they weren't so "touchy feely", but you know they would love you regardless of your shortcomings....  then mourning is natural.  I don't know why the loss of a mom suddenly seems so much more tragic than the dad.  My dad taught me everything about loving people, and yet there are many people that will not love you back. There are people that did not love my mom.  But they must have not known her in the same way that I did.   That's life and nothing can be done about that.  That's where you give that up to God.

Grief strikes at the most inopportune times.  As I drove to work yesterday it started all over again. Was it a song?  I never stray too far from music and it can be mood changing, but grief hurts in ways that you would never imagine.  I see my friends handle grief with grace.  I have never spent a lot of time crying, but when grief is present it does a magnificent job of breaking your heart.  It consumes all your thoughts and the first thing you think about is "Did I do everything humanly possible to keep this person alive"?  I know what most Christian people would say.  They would say to stop letting Satan rule your life.  I am a Christian and if that is true then I am sorry because it is uncontrollable.  I do not know how to handle these random feelings of yearning for years gone by and longing to feel the presence of the deceased once again.

I have a friend that has been grieving for five years for her mom.  She recently got a tattoo on part of her foot with her mom's signature from a greeting card.  My male friend who loves her dearly told me that she and I should get together.  He says she has the same hang up as I do.  In his words she carries her mom's "butt ugly" handbags to stay close to her spirit. I wear a ring of my mom's even though
I thought it was disgustingly gaudy when she was alive.    I have found that whatever makes one feel better and closer to your loved one is what you do.

There is a coworker that I enjoy immensely. However, I cringe when he says he hates  his mom and says rude things about her.  One day he will be grieving like the rest of us.  No one knows the guilt that commands your spirit when the person that you loved leaves this earth.  It makes no difference about their personal traits and whether you enjoyed their company or found them annoying. It hurts just the same.

I recently went on a cruise.  The only time I have felt complete relief from grief has been while on the water.  The sound of the water, and the smell of the water, and the feeling you get as you cruise in the dark of  night is so overwhelmingly comforting.  I yearn for that feeling daily.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of  the book Eat, Pray, Love has an amazing article about how water heals.      
Her recipe for healing is: rest followed by water.  Repeat this process over and over until healing is complete.  I am a believer of this concept.  God made the water to comfort and bring us peace  as it pours over our souls and makes us whole again. 

I don't know how we as humans can be so horrendous to other humans, but one day everyone will experience this feeling of loss and remorse for someone we love.  Until then God is in control.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)