Sunday, October 8, 2017

Grief is

Grief seems to be
a place none of us knows
until we reach it.

We anticipate that someone close to us will die,
but we do not look beyond such an imagined death.

We expect, if the death is sudden, to feel shock,
but we do not expect the shock to be so devastating
to both body and mind.

We might expect that we will be inconsolable and crazy with loss,
but we do not expect to be literally crazy
by believing that our loved one is about to return.

We imagine that the moment to most severely test us
will be the funeral,
after which hypothetical healing will take place.

When we anticipate the funeral,
we wonder about getting through it,
being able to rise to the occasion,
exhibiting the strength
that invariably gets mentioned
as the correct response to death.

We anticipate needing to prepare ourselves the for the moment:
will I be able to greet people,
will I be able to leave the scene,
will I be able even to get dressed that day?

We have no way of knowing
that this will not be the big trial.
We have no way of knowing
that the funeral itself will be experienced in shock,
a kind of narcotic regression,
in which we are wrapped in the care of others
and the gravity and meaning of the occasion.

 We cannot know the unending absence that follows,
 the void,
the very opposite of meaning,
the relentless succession of moments
 during which we will confront the experience
of meaninglessness itself.

We do not realize,
but eventually come to learn,
that we do not make the long journey that is Grief
alone,
but only in the Community of Grievers
of which we are all members.

A Griever’s reaction:

Oh so true. 
As you say, no one escapes grief. 
We are not alone,
our feelings are not unique but felt by every human being.

My Reaction:
The funeral is a blur. 
What I remember most was a friend hugging me
... the rest is a blank. 
I must tell her someday. 

You are so right! 
I thought the funeral would be the hardest part. 
Little did I know the sorrow that lay ahead. 
The thoughts and memories slammed into me
at the most unexpected moments,
almost taking my breath away. 
Trying to keep up the charade that I was healing
was exhausting. 

If only I had known then...




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