Thursday, January 5, 2017
This blog and others I write I write quickly with rarely any thought to proper grammar or spelling. These are "off the cuff" no holding back...They are what they are...
In the past I've written blogs concerning things I see on a daily basis. Sometimes they're funny and I try to convey that in the blog. At other times they may be observations of how I understand things. This is one of those, not gloom and doom but reality of things that you may not understand or never have to deal with in your life.
I've been a student of psychology and sociology. My specialty was in the field of "Aging, death and dying". I read all the literature I could get my hands on about the psychological process of grief. How it affects the brain, how the physiology of the body reacts to stress, how seemingly simple tasks are overwhelming to the grief stricken. Yeah, right. Let me clue you in to the reality of this stuff from my new perspective. I feel as though I'm doing a PSA (public service announcement) to all the uninitiated. No kidding.
First of all, the books that are written about grief give you a glossed over version of what the person writing about the grief thinks. That person usually has some notion of the workings of grief but they can't know what you or anyone else is going through. They can surmise things but that's about all.
Grief is a personal journey. It's sure not easy and it's not something you can tell someone about. Yes, you can give them the generalizations that everyone thinks about but not the nitty gritty. Some grieve sincerely forever, never leaving the initial grief stage. Some seem to bounce back shoving the grief into some dark recesses of their mind, hoping to bury it so deep as to never find it again (doesn't work by the way- it will get you in other ways-trust me on that).
I've been going to therapy, listening to the stories of others. I thought at first, "What in God's name am I going to get out of this. I've studied all this stuff ad nausea". I know the theory. I know what to expect. I understand what's happening to me. I know what the next step is and I'll get through it ....no sweat.
Was I too cavalier about grief? You bet. Was I holding myself above the others thinking I knew more than they did? Of course. Was I sure that I knew best? Yes, I did.
The one thing that made me laugh (to myself) was when my daughter realized that I was a basket case and she was shocked to see her, "bad ass Mother (her words)" vulnerable. That made me start thinking about other folks who have parents who they think are "bad ass", "tough", "capable" "with it", etc.
Grief has a way of taking over your life. You are dealing so hard with the grief you can't seem to focus on anything else. You see things that have to be done but you don't give a rats ass about any of them. Not because you're thinking about the one you've lost but you're trying to keep breathing, in and out ( and trust me that may be the only thing you accomplish of some days). It's not depression, it's a sort of depression. Granted, some may go into full fledged clinical depression but from where I sit it's not what I'm seeing. I've seen the full fledged clinical depression, experienced even and I'm hear to tell you this is different. I think there should be a different word used when "depression" is a result of a death of a loved one. I don't know, maybe, "soul longing? unknown fear dwelling", something other than "depression".
Most people have no idea how tough it is to go through the day not knowing what that day will bring. Will I break down in the super market because I see something my kid loved as an adult, a kid? Will I look at Gatorade differently because that was his drink of choice. Will I see someone who doesn't know my son is dead and they ask, "So how is the family these days?'. Then when you tell them they look as though a shutter has dropped over their eyes and they flounder to say something "profound". (the best thing to say is, "I don't know what to say"...it covers it all. The worst thing to say is, " OMG How did it happen?" that's usually their immediate thought. Then if they're really stunned they say, "Well, he's in a better place...". No, he isn't, he should be here with his family and us... The worst is when someone says, "OMG, I don't know how you're handling this, I'd kill myself". Yep, that's been said. I know it's not meant to be cruel but it is.
Most of us want to talk about our loved one. We love to hear the stories of them and things they did that we may or may not of heard about before, it's kind of nice. So don't be afraid to give us reminders of past things it keeps the memories alive and in some way the loved one as well.
Well, that's it for me... I can write for a time but then I can become overwhelmed, as I am right now.
This has been your PSA understand?