Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why grief?

I returned to work Monday evening after 4 days off, two regularly scheduled and two I took off to ensure my mental health was stable.

I felt good Monday evening after I came home but was looking forward to spending Tuesday evening with Wally again. In fact I felt so good that I wondered if I should've even taken the time off (I need to deal with my guilt issues). It wasn't til part way through my hectic Tuesday morning that I remembered I had a meeting in the evening. I was so disappointed. Not so much because I don't like meetings, I actually don't mind them most of the time, but because I just couldn't wait to spend time at home.

Home has become a comfort to me more so than normal over the past couple of weeks. And because I've been feeling a wee bit frazzled else where I have especially enjoyed it.

However, once I decided to stop being disappointed over something I couldn't change I felt better, (and I learned that embracing the obstacle is much less tiring than dreading it).

On my way to the meeting I began to think again of Bee's disappearance and death, of the loss of her spirit from this world and the wonderful, bubbly lady she was. I once again felt the pang of grief that so sharply wedged itself in my heart a week prior.

After the meeting I stood and chatted with a co worker about work stuff for a few minutes and then she expressed her sympathies over my friend and she empathized as she had lost her brother tragically a few weeks prior (an even deeper loss than mine).

Her words immediately found that grief pain and brought it to the forefront but in a good and healthy way. I talked a bit with her regarding the situation and just how hard it was to try and deal with and go to work at the same time. There was much to process and emotions to feel. Considering how many emotions people feel in any given job work was not the place to be going through them, especially with the fact that I, like many others, deal with people and their emotions for a living.

On my drive home I was shocked when sobs began escaping from my chest, moans of heartbreak and disbelief joined them. Initially I tried to stifle them but after just a moment I remembered I didn't have to, I was alone.

I let the grief pain take over. I allowed myself to feel it. All of it. I wept much like I did when my aunt passed. Like I did a year ago when I felt the world fail a young man and I had to witness him have an emotional and mental breakdown.

Not often do I have a need to weep. I have a pretty good life. No, I have an amazing life, with amazing people in it. I have much more than I could even need or rightfully ask for.

It is a clear reminder to me that you can have everything material that you need but when you lose a piece of your heart, you lose something you cannot replace, buy back or recover.

I think this must be why grief hurts so much and why you can feel it even when it doesn't appear to be something that belongs to you.

I have mentioned a few times that I didn't think I had a right to grieve so deeply over Bee. She's not my family. She was a friend, and as of late not one I kept close contact with, but one who was a part of my life for a long time.

I guess sometimes I wonder why things hurt so much even when we appear far from where the loss has occurred. I think I am realizing that our pain is often attached not only to the person but to the reality of their humanity and ours.

I ache because Bee was a living active part of my life for a long time. She was full of life, laughter, love and cared so much for people. I experienced all of these things from her. Now she is gone, no longer to be experienced in the same way on earth. There is one less person in my life to ask how I'm doing, to look at me intently when I tell a story or to sing a song I get to enjoy (yes it seems selfish but really grief is being sad over what we no longer have).

I remember when my aunt died, one thing I told Wally was that it was so difficult because I not only lost an aunt but I lost one of my cheerleaders. It's hard to lose those people.

Again though we grieve too over our own mortality. Over the fragility of life and of the relationships we share with others.

The other night Wally took my face in both of his hands and looked me straight in the eyes and said 'Don't ever walk away from me. Don't ever feel that alone.'

That truth is difficult to handle. Life must be nurtured and cared for. All of the time, not just when it's convenient. It is so easy to lose sight of this when getting wrapped up in the day to day, buying the groceries, walking the dogs, getting the car fixed.

When love is young you can't wait to express your love to the person you want to spend time with. You tell then every chance you get because you haven't had much time with them and you want them to know, with the time you do have, how much you care for them. As time goes on you take for granted that person being there, the fact that they arrived home from work just fine, or they will be there to have dinner with when you get home.

Grief is good for something.

It's good for reminding us how fleeting life is. How little time we actually do have with people on earth (in some cases this is good :)

I have learned and am learning to welcome grief in a sense. Not to welcome the loss but to welcome the reminder of what I already have so that I can not only be thankful for it but more importantly so I can nurture it, show my gratitude for it and hopefully be healed by this reality.

Grief has actually been a huge driving force in so much of my life thus far, I shall let it continue to do so.

Allowing grief to teach you doesn't make it easy to go through, but it can deliver hope for tomorrow.

Because you realize today is a gift only given today.