Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thoughts on Grief

Something happened the other day in the grocery store that go me to thinking a bit. I was walking down the water/soda aisle, and my eyes clouded a bit when I saw the little pony cans of diet coke. Uncle John loved those little cans-just the right size.

Anyway, I first felt bad because no one else in the entire world would tear up at pony coke cans. Then I realized how special that was, that was one special thing (me buying coke for him) that he and I alone shared. I reckon there is shared grief, and then there is private grief.

Then I worked out that private grief IS a form of shared grief, because we all have it when we lose someone. So it IS something that other people can share and relate too. They might not get the teary eyes/diet coke connection, but the sense of loss is pretty common.

Grief is one of those slippery public/private things. Just like love.


Debra Kay said...

I scheduled this for tomorrow but I'm leaving to meet with the lawyer today, so it seemed like something that I wanted to release NOW.

Apparently there is no statute of limitation on tears. Yet, sitting here thinking rationally, I still would not trade the tears if it meant giving up the joy. I think the truth is, we don't have much choice about the way our hearts work anyway.

We do choose our actions, and I knew that this part would be a part of going and getting John. I keep whining about "wow, I didn't know it would be THIS hard" and that is true. But the alternative would be he would have died, been mourned briefly, and then we would have all moved on, and that still doesn't seem right to me.

Yet, in the end, what does all the grief get us? Nothing. It doesn't bring him back and it damn sure doesn't make me feel any better.

In depressed mode, I would say "so what's the use of life"....but I'm in rational mode for the next 5 minutes and I want to say "what is the use of grief?" I'm crying as I write and am truly trying to figure out the point.

Grief seems to be a stress relief mechanism-stress from the loss builds up and then you bawl a bit.

Oh my head...too much thinking. Either everything has meaning or nothing has meaning-can there really be an in between? Do we choose?

I don't know.

soulbrush said...

grief can creep up and catch you unawares anywhere anytime for a long time to matter how many people have felt it too, it always feels so personal to oneself.uncle john was watching you right at that moment with a big grin on his face.
omg i love your header, it is the best! go ollie are the man!

soulbrush said...

oh shit, tears beget tears with me,when i don't cry i stay 'dry' for months and months, but when i start i cannot stop. just let it be. no it cannot bring him back, but it is very healing and a way to show you who? you! love ya debs.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It is good to grieve. You need to. I don't know why but with my losses I know if I go ahead and allow myself to grieve it really helps. You have after all had a substantial tear of your heart. It takes time to heal that rip.

Mim said...

I've thought about this alot recently - as you can imagine. What is the point of grief..of the ability to love and be happy...where does it all get us? Why were we made this way? Wouldn't it be a better world if we didn't have feelings of love and loss and jealousy and....

I love being a human, I just think that there is something that I'm missing...some message, or some knowledge or a missing link. I just don't know

Debra Kay said...

The missing link is the perfect analogy Mim. Kahlil Gibran said our pain hollows us out so that we can hold more joy. But now that HE'S dead too, I wonder if he still feels that way. If that's the way it really is, then yay for pain, but if it's NOT, what a mean trick.

Getting older means you know more dead people than you used to....I'm sorry, that just makes me smile.

Joss, Oliver is in the dog house this evening. After the lawyer I ran errands before the snow storm hit and had a couple of things to put in the fridge. So, I came in focused on getting that task done (because I have been known to forget and let things spoil). As I bent over, face in the fridge, someone grabbed my jeans and gave me a wedgie and I whooped loud enough to wake the dead!

Of course, it was Oliver and the rascal doesn't even have the courtesy to pretend to be contrite. He keeps yelling AAAAAAGH and then laughing and laughing. Then he'll go "GOOD LORD!...AAAAAGH" and laugh some more, with a few Mister Birds thrown in.

kj said...

deb, i've lost a person who isn't dead and the grief is still the same.i wonder if i'll carry it the rest of my life. i won't be surprised.

mim said what i wonder about too.

love to you,

studio lolo said...

Just as those Coke cans made you tear up, there will be times out of the blue that you'll crack up at some memory of him too. You'll laugh out loud like Oliver in the middle of Home Depot and you won't have to explain a thing because someone will 'get it.'
"Crack-up on aisle 5."
"Crying jag on 7. Bring the mop."

Whatever gets us through is the right thing.
It's weird how Brian is getting all these sympathy cards and not one person has included me. Don't they know I loved his dad and I miss him too? I'm beginning to think we don't know how to honor the dead in this culture. I'm not saying let's have a big to-do, but acknowledge the ones who've had a loss and understand their stages of grief.

Plan on more of those "coke" moments Debra. They're the 'real thing.'


kj said...

lolo, laughing mess on aisle 9.

Renee said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your uncle. It is hard to lose people that we love.

I have to say that I love your 20/20 hindsight.


Love Renee