Are you grieving the loss of a loved one?

it's okay, really it's okay.
This year has been one in which I faced death several times, with three family members passing away and also having to live through pregnancy loss. What I have come to understand is that the first reaction is always disbelief, then comes anger followed by the questions and it takes a while before it all sinks in - and the order of these never fails.

Recently I was visiting a girlfriend when I called my husband at his office for some reason and he told me that my dad had also called him searching for me. He apparently had called home several times failing to reach me. I worried as I know my dad usually simply leaves a message but doesn't relentlessly try to reach me. I was then anxious to return home and give him a call long distance to Canada where my folks live.

His voice was sombre, I asked what was up. He said "I have bad news". I right away thought of my grandmother, well over 80 and stricken with Alzeimer's disease. But he said no, and that instantly scared me. He then told me that my uncle, his brother, had died. I was in shock, I screemed and cried.

"no! - how, why, what?"

It was an unexpected death, a sudden one that took us all by surprise. His children and family devastated, my father lost his brother and I could feel his pain along with mine. A sudden passing of a family member is hard. Earlier this year I lost my mother-in-law after she went through many health issues and had spent weeks in ICU. A part of me was prepared for the inevitable, but my uncle's death was harder as it came out of nowhere.

The first time I experienced the five stages of grief was when I lost my pregnancy, it had hit me hard. I still feel deeply when I think about it. A life that never was or had a chance to be, and the loss of the potential of life is different than loosing a loved one but the pain is the same. I went thru the process of grief which I didn't know of then:

1. Denial
2. Anger (big time)
3. Bargaining, questioning
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

#2 and #4 were the most powerful in my case. The depression is like being in this cold unexplainable void, a numbness takes over your existence. The only way to not be numb is to be kept busy, I emphasize "kept". The moment I would find myself alone, or even a short instance in which my thoughts had time to go inward, depression would creep up and cover my being like a dark cloud enveloping me, suffocating me, numbing me.

Death. The inevitable, we will all experience it and we will all face it one day. What has helped me embrace the reality of death greatly is a book I fell upon by chance one day as I was aimlessly browsing through my local library. In this book I found a wealth of stories, real stories that made a compelling argument that death is not the end.

To anyone who has difficulty accepting the loss of a loved one, or is frightened by the idea of death. I recommend buying, or borrowing this wonderful book by David Kessler titled Visions, Trips and Crowded Rooms.

1 comment:

Serenity said...

Thank you for sharing such personal experiences. Very sorry for your loss. Take good care.