Thursday, April 10, 2014

On grief

It has been a long time since I've written a real blog post and I don't think I've ever written one like the one that is to follow. It has been a very difficult few weeks and I think that my fingers and my heart will meet and produce something that is cathartic for me and hopefully inspirational for you.

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For 24 years of life, I have been blessed to never lose anyone very close to me. The closest I ever got to true, deep grief was when my dog died suddenly during my freshmen year of college. That was sudden grief, coupled with a new environment, new stresses, and not a very solid support system in place in my new home environment.
 
Side note which will tie in- the Lenten season is very powerful for me. I love gathering in the evenings to commemorate Ash Wednesday, Wednesdays throughout Lent, Good Friday and finally rejoicing on Easter morning.
 
Little did I know what this Lent would hold. The message of "ashes to ashes" on Ash Wednesday was foretelling of the message that God would provide throughout the past few weeks. My grandfather on my dad's side, Clair, who suffered with dementia and Parkinson's, past away two weeks ago. His suffering was long and his life was really taken from him years ago. When he left this earth, we mourned his loss but rejoiced in his peace and freedom from illness.
 
After a month of battling health problems, my grandmother on my mom's side, Winnie, passed away on Sunday. She was 90 and while her mobility had been limited for years, her overall health and her mental health especially was good until the last month of her life. Again, she had been suffering which I saw firsthand when I went to see her a week before she passed away. When she finally let go, I knew that she was no longer suffering.
 
Here's the thing about grief...
It does not look the same for any person. Every single person grieves differently. My mom and dad have been strong and have felt at peace with everything. I shed more tears than they both have, but I too have peace. They were focused on preparing for cremations and services and moving forward. I have been focused on keeping my life in order amidst the changes, the trips home, the chaos. My grief looks very different from their grief. What is healing to them, is not necessarily healing to me.
 
Death is a funny thing. It is something we don't talk about easily. We don't discuss what happens towards the end of life or the questions you will be asked or the things you will have to face. Yet, when that time suddenly comes, we are forced into this world of hard questions and choices.

Nothing could have prepared me for the past two weeks. Losing two grandparents so quickly was never something I considered but here I am. Nothing could have prepared me for the phone calls or the tears. But I am thankful for my faith throughout everything. I have trusted that God's plan is more perfect than anything I could concoct or wish for myself. I know that both of my grandparents are with the Lord and that their suffering is ended and they will watch over us.  These have been comforting to me.
 
So yes, this post is mostly for myself. But it's also to say: grieve how you need. Cry however much or little you need to cry. Don't push people out, but feel free to tell people if you need space in your grief. Speak up if you need help and care for your weary heart. Tell people you love them. Stop being scared to talk about death and the creepy, crappy things that go along with it. Rely on God. Rely on others. Be thankful for the life you have. Live, truly live, the life you have. Take heart- it will be ok. 

2 comments:

  1. So nice to meet you! Just came across your blog! I am now following!
    Looking forward to keeping up!

    xo
    Christina
    http://www.christinawhoblog.com

    ReplyDelete