All posts by lnm8

So…

“So, that’s it? We go to school, then we go to work and then we die?”

Izzy

10 years old

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13 on this Friday

I was at the store looking in the greeting cards section and noticed a cluster of sympathy cards. I flipped through a few and started thinking of my own.

Here are the cards worth sending to someone experiencing a loss

1. Gone but not forgotten….but after 366 days, you will be pressured to forget.

2. Wishing you peace while your laundry builds up, your house is a mess and you forget to walk the dog. I’m here if you need me.

3. He was so young! So are you! Now go out and meet someone else so I don’t feel uncomfortable around you. Don’t meet someone before a year because that’s too soon but don’t wait too long because we need you to move on!

4. With great sympathy…as your food pantry items expire and the food in your fridge smells funky, here is a casserole you will never eat. I’ve done my duty, you will never hear from me again.

5. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Nuff said…and done.

6. May the love for those around you help you through the tough days ahead but just an FYI, friends and family will say cruel and unforgivable things. Be prepared.

7. You are so strong…until 3 months from now when the real grief hits and you have many sleepless nights. Stay strong!

8.(again) Gone but not forgotten until you realize grief has changed your brain in ways you forget conversations, people, paying a bill, appointments but you remember every detail of your life together.

9. Always here for you…even when your anxiety hits so hard and I don’t hear from you-I will come over with a cup of coffee and just sit with you. NOT!

10. Sorry for your loss. Let me tell you about my aunt’s cousin’s friend’s dog. She died 12 years ago and I am still upset about it.

11. Wishing you strength for today and hope for tomorrow because this SUCKS!!!

12. Those we love don’t go away…uh, yes they do!!!!

13. When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure because the bills and funeral costs will suck the other treasure out of you. Good luck with the funeral planning!!! Casket shopping is a hoot!

Widow humor. Sorry not sorry.

“Do you remember your father?”

Tonight, the girls and I had dinner with a friend and her child. I saw John and he was walking towards me…and then it wasn’t John. Izzy saw him too and watched him. I mentioned to her he had Dada’s hair. My friend caught what we were talking about and looked, then turned to KitKat and asked “Do you remember your father?” To which KitKat answered quickly “No”.  She was sitting on my lap and buried her head into my chest. The question hurt me more than that answer…but as soon as we got into the car, KitKat said “I remember, Mama. I remember Dada. Everything. I just didn’t want to talk to her about it.” “You don’t have too. You keep your heart safe and quiet. You share with people you feel safe with. You grieve your way and you know best.”
As adults, we ask a lot of stupid questions and we say a lot of stupid things to grievers. This was a very stupid, degrading and dangerous question to a child who lost a parent so young. My girls and the children we know who have had a major family loss, love to talk about their “special person” or have questions asked about them. If someone can share a memory, then it becomes a part of them and they are grateful. Ask what the special person’s favorite color was or what the parent loved to eat, you can ask about the eye color or hair color-even if they don’t know or they answer it wrong, it’s a way for the grieving child to connect-to share instead of shut down.
My heart aches double tonight because of this and also because John was alive and walking towards me…and then he wasn’t.

“I love you…

but I love Dada more.” KitKat age 7.5 years old last night when we were cuddling.

This won’t ever make me jealous or angry when they say things like this. It makes my heart soar with joy.

 

Connection not Closure

I don’t know where closure came into play with people who are grieving. I don’t know any widow (remarried or not) who has said “I have complete closure on my husband’s death! Time to party!! WOO HOO!!” So why is it asked if we’ve  moved on? Or acceptable to ask if we are seeing anyone new?

A mother who lost her baby in surgery met with the surgeons to talk about what happened in the operating room.

 A family who lost their father each spoke to the woman who found him and she told them where he died and what he his last words were.

A widow wants to meet with the woman who was in the same horrific accident that killed her husband. She has so many questions.

There is no such thing as closure when it comes to any death. All we want is a connection to that person that died and we still love…

The 5 Stages of Grief

Denial

Anger

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

Izzy and KitKat went to grief camp this Summer. What they left with was amazing. KitKat has opened up more in the past month than she has in 2 years-I will write about that later.

I left with something too which was life changing. I learned something about the 5 stages and it made me weep openly and deeply. A grief therapist was one of the volunteers there and she said the 5 stages of grief are for the DYING. NOT FOR THE GRIEVERS.

Do grievers have stages? Absolutely. Not just 5 of them (but some are included for sure). Not for one year either.

I have so many thoughts and feelings on this that I am still processing and hope I can blog…about a year ago, I was at an event when I struck up a conversation with another mother I didn’t know very well. She asked me about my husband and why he wasn’t with us and when I told her he died a little over a year ago and a bit of history, she looked at me and said “You aren’t grieving anymore, you are depressed.” I walked away from her. My words were taken from me in that moment-my grief was questioned a thousand times after this comment and now? Now I know we have to do better for the dying and the grieving because how we view it  and react to it is awful. We have to find a way to make this world a gentler place for the dying and the grieving.

 

grief