Sunday, November 16, 2008

How to Grieve

When my mother passed away, I remember many people telling me that I needed to grieve.

Grieve? I didn't know how to do that. And, for the first time ever, Google wasn't able to help me.

Someone bought me a book from Hallmark about grieving. Maybe that helped a little. I bought a CD from a Christian book store that was supposed to help too. It did a little.

How did these things help?

Do you ever have times in your life when you just need to cry? You may recall one of the shows on Everyone Loves Raymond when Deborah needed Ray to leave the house so she could just sit and cry. Here is a clip from that episode >>>

raymond romano Pictures, Images and Photos

Everyone has their own repertoire of memories that can make them laugh or cry. Grieving is taking the time to revisit those memories, the good ones and the bad ones. Grieving is lonely and it's personal. There might be times when you are able to share stories about your loss with others. But, many times, those interactions are shaded by worry that you might offend someone else who is also experiencing loss.

It has been almost two years since my mom passed away. In the beginning, the pain was fierce. My heart physically was in pain as I tried to purge the loss. But grieving isn't only about the pain, it's also about renewal, turning a new chapter in your life. And, as you try to sift through the strong emotions you hope that guilt doesn't get the best of you and your memories. There are days when your life seems normal again, and then, there are days when you can hardly put one foot in front of the other.

I write about grieving today because I am scared right now. My Great Aunt Midge passed away two weeks ago. She was very sick and had been living alone for many many years. I had a special relationship with her, but in the past two years or so have moved away and have not been able to be there for her. When I moved away, I remember starting to grieve Aunt Midge. I knew in my heart that our holidays would not be the same and that I would disappoint her with my limited visits. She had been sick for a few weeks. We did drive up to see her, and the time we shared with her was very special. I wish I had a last visit with my mother before she had passed away.

Today, my darling husband is on his way back from her apartment where he moved out all of her furniture. He should be home any minute and I am terrified of his arrival. I am scared to grieve yet I know it is necessary.

Taking it one day at a time,
Life of a Juggernaut.


lynnmosher said...

Andrea, My mother died in January and I have never really grieved for her because the Lord prepared me months in advance of her passing. She so wanted to see my Dad, who died 14 years ago.

She was becoming worse physically and her time was up. The Lord now enjoys her company. I miss her sweet phone calls and visits but more importantly, I am so happy she is rejoicing with my Dad.

While a miss both of them and my grandparents, especially my grandmother who died 49 years ago, their memories still live on in their possessions that I now have.

You may grieve for yourself because you cannot enjoy her company any more. But her memories will be ever alive around you. Blessings of peace and comfort to you.

Lindylou said...

I don't know much about grieving... I am not sure I really ever have had to grieve much loss of friends/ relatives that have had major loving impact on my life. I grieved for lost of baby in miscarriage, but God healed quickly since baby was 8 weeks term and I was pregnant again in a few months.

I have witnessed and loved people who have grieved deeply.

I more have grieved over loss of childhood and innocence... this is totally different kind of grief... still necesary but not the same. One is a grieve of what you have had (desparately missing love relationship experienced), other is a grieve of what you never had (desparately lost never had known or felt love relationship experience).

As you grieve, rejoice that you have those precious memories and experiences that are so treasured .... that you must process the deep lost of never again having new memories, current memories... ability to continue to share. I know one day when those I currently love die, I will experience such grief to truly say, "I understand." Thankful God has not chosen to allow me to have this experience yet.

Patty O. said...

I am sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine what i would do if I lost my mom. She just recently finished battling cancer and is fine now, thank goodness, but I am terrified the cancer will come back.

Grieving sucks, but I suppose it is better than not grieving, because like you said, it helps us move on and start a new chapter. I think you are really brave.

Elizabeth Channel said...

I believe this post will help many people in various stages of grieving. I know it is helping me. Thank you...