Time for the grief to go
There has been so much over the last 3 years, culminating in my mom’s death in December. When we suffer profound loss, we tend to revisit it for a period of time afterwards. Sometimes, for the rest of our lives.
I started wondering why? Why do I keep bringing back these feelings of pain and sadness, not only in my mind, but in my body. I can feel the pain as if it were happening all over again. It’s like picking at a wound that has scabbed over, only to make it bleed again and again and again.
How can it heal, when it is re-opened?
I realized that part of it was guilt. Guilt that if I don’t keep thinking about these deaths, that I’m not properly honoring them. A belief that I need to remind myself of their loss and their absence on this physical plane. That I can’t talk to them or hug them or apologize or encourage. And I feel guilty that their absence also gives me a certain freedom. Especially from parental and family expectations and obligations.
Another part was fear. Fear that if I don’t revisit and remember, that they will fade from my memory as if they were never here. Fear that I will forget how profoundly they affected me and how fiercely I loved them and they loved me. Especially with the dogs, since I have other dogs now. It becomes difficult to keep the dead ones in my consciousness; they all start to meld together.
So, I’ve been picking the scab; often in the quiet of middle of the night. I would wake up and remember. They are gone. Then move on to the day they died and the circumstances of their deaths and then I felt it all over again. Almost as if it were happening in that moment. And it felt terrible, but I rationalized it by telling myself that I have to keep their memory alive. I have to feel that pain.
No more. That scab has to heal. No more picking. No more bleeding. It will most certainly leave a scar. But, scars don’t bleed and we often display them with the stories of how we got them. Usually, with a smile because we know that we survived and no matter how awful the wound, we did heal to a certain extent. We healed enough to tell the tale of that scar.
I’ve shifted over to positive memories. Funny, joyful, instructive, emotional, happy, silly and yes, sometimes sad or challenging memories. A well-rounded remembrance of our lives.
So, that’s where I am. Healing. Isn’t that where we all are? Everyday? One wound may still be fresh, while others have scabbed over and many are well earned scars. This is our life on planet earth. It hurts, but we get another day to make a life…and then another and another and another.
Allowing my grief to move into a new stage involved a release and an emptying that leaves me open and ready to what is coming. It’s been a long process, with so many losses piled on top of one another in a fairly short time. I’d never really had to deal with death in such an intimate way until 3 years ago and I was ill prepared. A very steep learning curve that culminated in the honor of seeing, hearing and feeling my mom’s last breath.
But, it’s okay. Lives end. They begin. And what we do in between is what matters to humanity. Make a decision to heal your wounds. Ask for help, seek out tools and practices. Don’t keep making yourself bleed over and over. We have an innate ability to heal physically that is so apparent. What may not be as apparent is our innate ability to heal our spirits as well. The first step is intention.
I wish you well. Feel free to reach out.