Monday, February 18, 2019


What exactly is grief?      It is many things.  Mostly I have thought of it as the feelings of loss when someone in my life had died.   I grieve for my parents and my brother. I grieve for my in laws. I grieve for dear friends who have died.     So often it is said that they died too young.   What does that even mean?   My mother in law was 99.  It was no surprise when she died.  But we miss her.  We would love more years with her.

Is it more tragic to lose a child.   Yes, in my mind it is.  I have not lost a child and cannot imagine it. 

But grief is also about losing something.  An idea.  An ideal.   A piece of yourself.    For me, it is not something I choose to do or feel.  It's just there. 

When we first got married there were times I grieved for my no longer single life.  I didn't get to be an adult and learn the world alone.    I am sure it was hard for Nick too, but, he had done more exploring the world outside of his parental home.

Grief came when my much loved and wanted first baby died in my womb and I never got to see her?  him?  I'll never know.

Every time we have moved, from one country to another.  Back home and away again.  I have a hard time adjusting at first.  I am homesick.  I miss my familiar surroundings, my family, my friends.  That is grieving too.

Saying goodbye to a [no longer] child at the airport, or as they walk away into their life at college.  Letting go.  Feeling pieces of your heart feel like they are crumbling and have no where to go.  Grief.
Letting go of a marriage and saying goodbye to the person with whom you have shared so much.  It shows as anger, hate and disappointment.  Maybe a little shame at allowing things to get so bad,   That's grief.

We did manage to resolve the separation and "save" our marriage.  Our love and commitment is greater than before.  But we both feel bad about the pain we caused each other and the people who love us.  Children, parents, siblings, friends.   Grief. 

Nostalgia is looking back at all the lovely things in our past.  Of course, at least on some level, we know that everything was not all rosy.  But rather than grieve over what was, we remember what feels good and warm and fuzzy.   The past is gone.  We have lost it never to get it back again.

I look at old pictures of myself and my kids and other loved ones.  When I see the pictures of myself I think "wow I was pretty".   Why didn't I know that at the time?    Why do I grieve over what is no more.  Looking at pictures of my children as little kids, pictures of mother as a vibrant young woman. 

And then there's the reality of physical health declining.   More often than not, conversations revolve around our health concerns.  No more rolling our eyes while telling tales of our silly child's pranks "you won't believe what my kid did"!

Brain tumors.  Who welcomes that news.  Twice.  Oh my, I am more less than perfect than I already knew .   I knew I was flawed, but now I am broken.  I am sad and sorry and scared.   I mourn what was and worry about what will be.   Will I ever be the same?  As what?  What is it I am afraid of losing?   Fortunately, I have been able to come through two brain surgeries doing very well thank you very much.  But, oh what grief that caused me and my whole family who feared  losing me.   All of me to death, or parts of me to disability.  Months of my life used up with pre surgical worry and post surgery recuperation.  It is popular to say "well, I'll never get that tine back".  Truth is, that time would have gone by regardless.   I think that the expression means "I am grieving having to lose what could have been wonderful times by having to deal with the reality of the situation".

My closest friend in the world is in a health crisis right now.  She cries.  She is scared.  She doesn't know what will happen.   She wishes that this was a bad dream.   Is she grieving?   Yes, I believe that is a part of her jumbled feelings right now.

I process it differently.  I am afraId too.  But I am also confident that everything will be alright.  Maybe that is my way of avoiding the grief  of this reality.   Maybe it is because I truly believe that everything will be alright.

My brother in law used to say "nothings so bad it isn't good for something".  I cannot always see that truth.

I like John Lennon saying ""Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."

Fingers crossed

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