Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Very Unfortunate Club


Here's the thing about grief...about losing a loved one...you soon discover that you are part of a very unfortunate club.

A club that includes too many people that have had to endure the pain of losing someone close to them. People you see everyday, people you know well, will begin to tell you about their experiences with death.

I am amazed by the amount of people who have lost someone close to them. Who have struggled with these very feelings that I have. Who have survived the pain and learned how to live their "new reality".

Hearing these stories, seeing people who have lived this anguish, makes me feel a little bit normal. A little bit normal, when sometimes I feel like I am going crazy. Literally.

After spending the week of Verd's death in a state of mind that left me truly feeling like I was just having a horrific dream, this week I found myself, at times, feeling like it never really happened. Like he wasn't really dead, just away.

I wonder if this is part of Mother Nature's way of protecting you in times of unbelievable stress...if it is my subconscious looking out for my psyche. Or maybe it's just one of the steps of grief...I should really look those steps up.

Whatever it is, I found myself at the end of this week honestly feeling like I was going just a little bit crazy.

I feel less crazy today...which is good, but it means that I struggled today, that it was "real" again.

Last night we spent some time at my SIL's home, going through the massive piles of cards and memorials...we laughed, we remembered, we read words from people who wanted to share their memories of Verd.

It was healing. It feels so good to be around those that are going through the very thing I am. But today, in church, I struggled. I found myself tearing up...remembering, thinking, feeling. I saw his boys in church without their dad, where he had always been every week...and my heart hurt for them.

My newest source of pain? That his grandchildren will never know him. That he won't get to be the wonderful grandfather that I know he would have been.

I wish I could turn back time...I wish I didn't belong to this club. It isn't a very fun one.


13 comments:

  1. Nothing that can be said, will take the pain away. You have memories and those can never be robbed of you!
    Keep writing mama, this will heal your soul! Prayers for you all!

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  2. No it's not a very fun club. Keep writing about it, it helps. It helps me to know that everything happens for a reason. I lost my dad when I was very young, and even though it was a long time ago, I still feel like he is just away. In reality, he is, because I'll see him in heaven!

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  3. My heart truly goes out to you and your family. I have read every day of your blogging and have tried several times to write something to you. How do you explain to someone in words how much your heart aches for what they are going through..I just couldn't so I didn't. You see I lost my little brother a little over a year ago and to this day I am still in denial just a little bit. Some days I pick up the phone to call him or look for him online only to be smacked in the face with the reality that he is not there and never will be again. It hurts every day but then there are days where I remember a sweet thing he did for me or a funny story of us growing up and it makes that day not so bad. I know that you are a strong woman and that you will make it through this just fine. If I can say anything it is just really that I am sorry you are now in the club and I can only hope that you too find the memories to fill your days with a smile.

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  4. I wish I had some comforting words for you as you go through this terribly sad time. But if I had such words, I would tell them to myself. I lost my dad on September 30th, and the pain is just almost unbearable. Feb 22nd is the 13th anniversary of my mom's passing. Hurts to even type the words.
    Time does not heal these wounds. Only God can help us to deal with all the pain.
    I agree with the 'keep on blogging'. It will help all of us to deal with our grief, and we can all support each other.

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  5. Mama M,

    I have been following your blog for over a year now. I'm not a big commenter, because I do most of my blog reading on my phone. I feel as if I know you after reading for so long, so I wanted to tell you my experiences with two of the points you mentioned.

    I lost my grandpa on Jan. 7th. He raised me, so he was more than just my gpa, he was my daddy and my best friend. I have been taking care of him for almost four years because my grandma has her own health problems and wasn't able to do what needed done. Now that he is gone, I go back and forth between feeling like I'm lost, and feeling like he's not really gone, he's just in the hospital. I feel just like you described. It does make things easier at times, but then when reality creeps back in, it is like a punch to the gut. I have no advice for you on this, I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone in feeling this way, I understand completely.

    Unfortunately, I lost my mother 3 years ago. She lived 600 miles away from me, and had not yet met my 1st child, who was 8 months old when mom died. I was also newly pregnant with my 2nd child at the time. That has been the hardest part of losing her, knowing that she never got to meet my kids. I try to look at it like this...now that she is in Heaven, she is able to watch and protect my girls in a way she never could have here on Earth. It is comforting to know that, and it is what I have told my girls. At ages 3 and 4 now, they both know they have a grandma in the sky, that is always watching and keeping them safe. We talk about her and look at pictures while I tell stories. Love doesn't end with death, it just adapts.

    I didn't intend for this to be so long, and I hope I haven't overstepped. I just wanted to tell you, as someone dealing with similar issues, that it does get better. That if you look hard enough through the sadness, you can still find something good.

    If you ever want to talk, I'm jeanettelynn84 on Twitter. I'm sorry for your family, Verd sounds like a wonderful man.

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  6. I have nothing good or "right" to say... Just know I'm thinking of you friend. And that I wish you weren't going through this at all...

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  7. Hi, Mama M. According to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, the stages of grief are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. Progression through these stages is not linear, meaning you can go back and forth from one to the other or skip around...everyone deals with grief in different ways. I think you are absolutely on point with your above comment about your subconscious looking out for your psyche. After experiencing a loss, it seems I have to make a conscious effort to remember the loved one is gone. Like you said, for a while it seems as if whatever event that took him/her away never happened. My heart goes out to you and plenty of prayers are going up for you and your family during your time of loss. You are not going crazy (unless of course it helps you cope to think you are)...just coping as best you can. How's the Mister holding up?

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  8. I am truly sorry for your loss. The death of a loved one is never easy. Since I was sixteen I have lost two father's and my closest grandparents, not to mention other family & friends. Each one makes my heart a little sadder knowing that my son will never know these wonderful people. As he gets older I try to make sure he has an idea of the people they were. I try to keep their memory alive with my son. Grief is never easy to overcome, feel and deal with it the best you can. My heart goes out to all of you.

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  9. I am a part of the club, too, and i agree - it's not a very fun one. Though i have lost several people in my life, some were harder than others. When i was in my early twenties, our next door neighbor lost their daughter, their middle child & only girl. I babysat them on several occasions. When i heard she passed out on the beach on vacation, i went to their house & cleaned it for them. (We had the keys b/c we were feeding their cats.) I remember organizing her beanie babies & imagining her coming home. But she didn't. She died a week later (some heart problem they never knew about. That was my first taste of grief & it was almost unbearable.

    In the last 2 years i have lost my good friend's mom who i loved DEARLY (to suicide) & another good friend's dad. I knew him my whole life & he sounds kind of like your brother-in-law. EVERYONE loved him. The funeral was packed. His last words to me were "hey! did you miss me?!" b/c that was our little joke, something i always said to him.

    I am truly sorry that your brother-in-law is gone. I have been praying for y'all & will continue to do so. HUGS.

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  10. I am also part of this club. When I lost my aunt tragically I thought it was just a nightmare. The "firsts" are the worst, first birthdays, holidays, etc. But once you get through that first year the healing starts to grow a little bit stronger every day.
    I am so very sorry that you are a part of this terrible club but with membership you gain alot of support. There aren't any words to make the hurt go away, not right now anyway just know that someone from Florida and thinking and saying a prayer for you and your family. HUGS!!!!

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  11. Yes, not a club anyone wants to join. My grandmother has been gone for 5 months, and I still have periods when I think it was a dream. She lived on my street and I used to have dinner with her twice a week. Sometimes on Thursday and Sundays I still think I am going down there to eat. I look at pictures of her all the time, and it hardly connects in my head that she is really gone. I think, like in your case too, it has to do with the death being so unexpected. You can never really prepare for a death, but having some warning can be beneficial in the healing process, I think.

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  12. It does take time. Lots and lots of time. I can't say for certain how long because we still have flash moments of how much my husband's brother would have loved our last two children and how they would have loved him or how he would have loved to spoil his brand new great-niece. Th eonly "fortunate" thing, if there ever really is one, is that he was young, hadn't married yet and therefore, had yet to leave kids behind... It gets easier but those "flash moments" are still coming for us 11 years later... just fewer and farther between. You have a great support system; utilize it and know that you are not going crazy even though it feels like it at times...

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  13. My father in law just passed away Thursday. We're devastated. The funeral was Monday and my husband delivered the Eulogy and cried when he started talking about how his grandchildren won't know him much and how much he loved them...it's heartbreaking.

    I think the pretending he's away is a step of grief because it's like I could have written this. It's been almost a week and it feels like we're in some crazy bad dream. It just doesn't seem real. It's easy to pretend that he's away but then it hits us that he's actually REALLY gone and it's heartbreaking. It's hard to cope.

    I know exactly what you're going through and I'm so very sorry. *hugs*

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I love comments! And, I welcome your thoughts that aren't in agreement with mine...as long as they are respectful!

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