Are We Shoulding Ourselves?
This is a v. personal post about grief and loss. I’m using this blog because I know there are others that are in similar circumstances that may benefit. Read at your own risk.
People are funny in dealing with intensely personal topics. We should be polite and ask people how they are doing but if they say anything more than “fine. How are you?” we are at a loss for words.
Grief is a curious thing. 8 years ago, I lost the love of my life v. suddenly. My friends and family were there for me “shoulding” me.
“You should take time to grieve but then should move on.”
“You should keep the memories tucked away but you shouldn’t focus so much on the past.”
” You shouldn’t internalize your feelings. You shouldn’t dwell on the grief. Its been long enough, hasn’t it?”
The truth is grief is like the wind. It carries with it a momentum of cyclonic power that can strike at any moment, often doing so when you least expect it. We do everything we should to protect ourselves. This force of grief can cause your destruction or just leave you feeling freshly stunned and a bit in tatters. Where is the redemption?
When it first happened, I had all the support I needed but gradually you find there is a statue of limitations on your grief. It no longer becomes acceptable to cry at the drop of a hat. It’s awkward to reflect on the memories with friends and family because, after all, 8 years is a long time. The support suddenly seems to leave you to your own devices. The cliche ” time heals” will be the magic cure all to just make the feelings all go away. Then, a gale force of grief knocks you over and silently you pick yourself back up and dust it all off. Its all you can do. Until the next time, that is.
It wasn’t until I took proactive steps to manage the grief that the gale force winds weakened to a gentle breeze. I simply recognize it, as I would any other emotion. This recognition keeps me on a forward moving path and the vulnerability, a by-product of that recognition, my savior and protector.
What did I learn from all this shoulding? You should never let go and trust that your faith will guide and light your way to a fruitful life.
Dedicated to the man who believed, inspired and loved me. My D. (1965-2007)