Tag Archives: grief

Surrendering the Extremes

“What instances do you need to grieve or surrender?” (Grit & Virtue)

Twenty-eighteen was a year of extremes…to say the least.

My family and I celebrated (or should have) a lot of wonderful moments last year, but each moment seemed to be tainted by something. Young Gun and I got married in March, and while, for a brief moment, we were able to be in the moment, newlywed thoughts and actions quickly dissipated. The conversation swung to funerals and cremations. The day we found out Cookie was a girl, we were able to smile and celebrate for a brief moment, and then sadness seeped in as YG settled into the realization his mother was not there (and would not be) for any of it, as of four days prior.

My 39th birthday was covered with a small fog of sadness as my furry friend of 15 years was recently buried in our backyard. Our celebration of YG’s first Father’s Day was short lived as he spent the day hurt by selfishness. The birth of our beautiful new addition was short in celebration. After only six hours, she was whisked away to the NICU. For Thanksgiving, the excitement of Cookie’s grandparents and extended family getting to meet her was extinguished quickly.

Our first Christmas Eve blended family celebration packed with hot chocolate and Christmas movie line-up was dampened by Young Gun being sick. Christmas itself was mediocre at best because we were broke, severely. With games sprawled out on the table and anticipation bubbling for us to celebrate new beginnings, New Year’s Eve was shaping up to be a first that was not dampened/tainted/ruined by anything. Except…it was.

Looking back at the turds floating in our punch bowls last year, I could easily dwell on each of them. I could carry bitterness with me and be cautious about anything shaping up to be joyous this go ‘round, but I refuse. Yes, some of the big moments in our lives were dampened by a circumstance, but we cannot allow that to steal our joy. It was absent enough.

After today, I don’t plan on looking back at these moments from this vantage point. The moments meant to be joyous will stay that way in my mind. Under the rubble there is goodness. I am going to dig it out, dust it off and put it in a new shelter. I will protect the goodness a bit better this time and make sure that before I allow anything to steal joy, I check it at the door.

~SM

Swallowing Grief Whole

Death. It’s a thing.

I have lost people to death, both before I could really understand it and after. My first encounter is just but a snippet. I am not even sure if she died that particular day, but I remember seeing my great-grandmother collapse on the floor. I don’t recall seeing her after that. When I was sixteen (or thereabouts), my grandfather died. It stung and I didn’t quite understand why, but I pushed it down, until I couldn’t.  In the last few years, I have lost others, and due to recent events of one in particular, I have been stuffing and stuffing grief down whole. Death. (sigh) It’s a thing.

The moments in my life when death happened, and I had a grasp of its meaning, I found a way to squash whatever I was feeling. Business first, tears later my grandmother says. Only, I am not so sure my tears ever came.  The business of caring for others or filling out paperwork or going to work or taking care of children, or any number of regular, mundane activities that could have waited until I grieved, always came first. Tears never came. With the end of 2018 barreling its way toward closing time, I think the grief I have swallowed is finally catching up. Its closing time, the music is lowering and the lights are about to come on. What was hidden is about to become ugly, real quick.

Enter the ugly. I am just now allowing the thoughts of loss to come. Along with it, unfortunately, comes the thought of expiration dates. It is completely terrifying to know we all have one, yet we have no clue when it is. I am seeing The Kids differently, Young Gun, and my parents. I am filled with fear of loss and all that follows. I feel like I should cling to them, keep them hostage. No open doors. No adventures. No living. I just need them close. I need to smell them and touch them. I need to know they will be okay, always. With every new day, my fear grows and grows. It is little now. I can tell. But it will grow if I don’t figure out a way to regurgitate this grief—all of it.

Death. It’s a thing. It leaves behind the grievers with no clear path to wellness. Our questions cannot be answered. Only vague assumptions can take the place of answers. Only tall tales by those who choose to make themselves look like heroes. The other side is heard nevermore. It’s a thing. A scary, inevitable, colorless, odorless thing. Grief is the only payoff from such an unfair transaction, but it, too, is a thing. A scary, inevitable, colorless, odorless thing. It is a real, whole thing. It should be ingested one piece at a time. Lesson, unfortunately, learned.

~SM