Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Grieving = One Of The Most Basic Human Needs




image “Heart” by usamedeniz via 

Through each tear we find healing, comfort and peace. 

I'm sure you can picture at 
least one special someone 
you have grieved losing. 

Perhaps you've lost a parent, a child, a pet, a friend, a classmate, a neighbor, a lost love, a sibling, a spouse or any combination of those mentioned. Grief can come in many forms.... either through the loss of someone due to death, the end of a relationship or even divorce.

Loss & Grief That's Expected...

I visited my grandfather in hospice right before he passed away... the place, the room, it silently spoke of impending death... no decor, no life sustaining medications, no cheeriness, just a bed and the drip of pain meds. There were no words between us...  but sitting beside him, he looked me in the eyes with recognition and I detected embarrassment in his face that I was witnessing him in what he likely would have perceived as a weak state. He had always been a very tall, strong, dark haired, robust man who enjoyed big game hunting, traveling the world, watching the history channel and yet had a soft spot for any dessert he could get his hands (or sweet tooth) on. He could be brash, impulsive and quick to temper. He had more energy at sixty than most people have at twenty. But in his final moments with him I didn't see a weak man... I saw an incredibly strong man who had led an incredibly full life with stories from hunting expeditions that rivaled something out of an Indiana Jones film. I saw a man who had continued to hold on long after diabetes had begun it's corroding damage to his feet. I saw a man who had survived prostate cancer decades before. I saw a man who had always wanted to portray himself as undeniably strong do the unthinkable which was to let me grasp his now fragile weathered hand and hold it.... I saw a man who was so vulnerable in his granddaughters presence yet amazed me with his strength in holding on to the very end until Jesus met up with him in everlasting light.

When we know of the impending loss of an elderly grandparent due to age, frailty and diminished health we can in some ways prepare ourselves for their soon passing. They may very well be exhausted both mentally and physically and have suffered for quite some time... their quality of life may be severely lacking if they were so blessed to live well into their eighties or nineties. Having time to absorb the bittersweet reality that they are passing into a new home of great eternal joy where birds will undoubtedly sing melodies announcing their grand arrival... we can take heart in knowing that they are going to a place of peace and love with our Savior. We have time to come to terms with any related baggage, with any unspoken words, any sorrowful un-forgiveness and find our own peace in the quiet moments at their bedside grasping their hand during their final moments... being there for them to the very end and finding healing in that very act of love.

Loss & Grief That Is Unexpected... 

This is in stark contrast when we lose someone without any warning. When my sister passed away unexpectedly in 2008 due to a drunk driver part of the reason my grief was so magnified was due to the unexpectedness of it. When we lose someone so unexpectedly we may struggle with the numbness and shock of it for quite some time... we may not be capable of wrapping our head around the reality that someone we deeply loved could be here one day and gone the next. Or the hour for that matter.  For myself, as I know many other's feel... losing someone to a drunk driver is comparable to them being murdered. Each person that makes the unwise yet conscious choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle who has been drinking beyond the individual state limits (and/or personal limit as each person varies in height and weight, etc) is setting himself or herself up for killing someone. Vehicles don't kill people but people do by utilizing bad decision making.

Losing my baby sister was the worst loss of my life... it was two-fold in that I was grieving her losing her life and no longer being capable of accomplishing her hopes and dreams due to her life being taken at much too young an age of twenty two but the loss of her and how it related to myself also. Not only was I grieving her loss of not realizing her own dreams; traveling to New York one day, getting married, raising a family, pursuing a career in journalism... but my own loss of never hearing my sister's voice again, seeing her smirk, seeing her tuck her "chappie" aka chapstick in her jeans pocket, ordering pizza together and watching chick flicks.... all the little things that made her who she was and the moments we shared.... I could list indefinitely. Likewise the pain I saw in my mother's face was heart wrenching.... no mother should ever have to go through the pain of losing her child. Standing at my sister's gravesite all I really wanted was for everyone to vacate and leave the site so I'd have that precious alone time with my sister. I wanted to embrace selfishness and shoo everyone away and just sit there beside her coffin until the sun set but eventually we all made the somber walk to the limo and clambered in. Leaving her physical body there even though I knew she was in Heaven was one of the most incredibly difficult things ever.

Loss For The Best But Still Grieved...

I will be forthcoming in saying hindsight is always 20/20 and in that I should not have married my husband. Did I see jerky behaviors in the beginning? Yes, yet those initial occasional "jerky behaviors" mixed with a facade of goodness gradually grew into monstrous proportions of negative traits over the course of a thirteen year marriage and would later resemble narcissistic and sociopathic abuse. I had lived it for so long I myself had believed it wasn't as bad as it really was... or had erroneously hoped it would get better... or maybe at the end of the day a bit of both. There is nothing wrong with hope, as hope is a must in this world. However, if you aren't seeing any change or desire to change coming from an abusive spouse... it's time to cut your losses before you're so beat down you don't care if you live or not... more so if you have children. Thankfully I wasn't anywhere near that stage but I had been complacently living with him changing the rules on me so often regarding what he wanted or needed that I was chronically anxious and stressed out by his ever changing expectations....  I honestly didn't know whether I was coming or going half the time. It's not healthy to live like that... to have him come home and his temper always simmering, ready to bark and then having a son who bless his little heart struggles to use his words and express himself when stressed... and well, you have a situation that requires walking on eggshells as I would try to step in to be the buffer. Constantly trying to soft peddle to keep them calm and on an even kneel as my daughter would flee to her room and hide behind the door. Who wants to live as a referee and try to keep the other adult in the home appeased? At what cost? Your health? Your sanity? Your status? So you can say you're married? Not. Worth. It.

Divorce and grief as a shared package?...  sometimes people may not understand that concept, especially if you were the one who filed. People may erroneously believe that if you have filed for divorce you must be fine about the demise of your marriage. People may believe you have happily moved on and are not sad in the least bit. But this may not always hold true and for the most part likely doesn't. I can say that I am very relieved to be released from my long standing toxic marriage. I know the marriage wasn't good or healthy for me, nor for my children. But in that I am grieving what I wanted it to be... he could be anyone in that grief... but I am incredibly sad over the loss of what I wished and hoped for in marrying someone. I had hoped for someone who would openly talk to me and love me without chronic dismissiveness and stonewalling. I had hoped for someone who allowed me to be myself (I don't like roller coasters, not going to learn to like them... and that is okay with me). I had hoped for someone who wouldn't place pressure upon me to be perfect (I'm not perfect,  not gonna be perfect and don't want that unhealthy pressure), I had hoped for someone who appreciated the simplicity of the little things in life like ice cream on the deck under the stars with Gary Allan or Matthew West playing in the background... children with bare feet and beach-wave hair fresh from their baths cuddled up next to us pointing out fireflies and toasting marshmallows.... versus the misguided hyper focus of status, image, ego, sex and materialism. I mourn all of those things I had hoped for not only for myself and my husband one day but for my children and am now facing the reality of it not being what I'd pictured. In the grieving of divorce we may mourn just the breaking up of a family even if we know deep down keeping it intact is at a cost to everyone. The loss from divorce is profound and every woman (and man) who is grieving... we all need a little comfort, a little sweet affirmation that our shattered dreams deserve to be mourned....  and a hug too.

No matter what type of loss you have or are experiencing... remember that it's always okay to mourn and grieve. It's human and a very basic need when we have had love and hope in another person, relationship, etc and we finally come to a place where we realize our initial dreams and those of others will not come to fruition and instead are cut short.

In that remember that God is always there for you in your grief, tears and sorrow. He will wipe away your tears, comfort you and renew your hope in a better tomorrow... God will help you come up with another dream, another wish, another day to start anew.... a promise of God's love that never fails.

© ~ 2013

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting & sharing!

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