Grief: Going all ‘hallmark’ on you

Grief and I have gone from not knowing each other at all to knowing each other well. What I thought it was compared with what it really is, are so far apart, I have to laugh. But then did I really want to know?

I thought it was only about sadness.grief quote

But it’s so much more.

The hair loss, hot flashes, memory losses, sleeplessness, shock, numbness, tiredness, daydreaming, memories, helplessness, pain, isolation, fear, heaviness and waves of despair are part of it.

Then there is that need to give in order to help fill that hurt and that hole in your soul. There is that craving for just one more something from the one you love — the unfinished business that a suicide often leaves in its wake.

You are left with this new thing, too–a depth to your soul that was only there intermittently before. It’s like a hidden door that you can access so easily now that you are in the club no one wants to be in. You didn’t even realize your love could go that deep. It feels bottomless.

The most painful is the ache.

It is so hard to get from under because it surrounds you and you want escape but it sits there stubbornly, refusing to move. And just when you least expect it, it lifts. Relief.

Sometimes I have felt afraid that if I let the grief lift, I am cheating on Charles. Like having fun means he was right all along about the world being a better place without him. I purposefully and diligently have to work at reminding myself that I am still alive and didn’t make the decision for him to go early.  It’s my duty as a living person to find joy without guilt.

No one tells you about the moments of sheer joy, or even the string of “hyper days” that always end in a crash. (I’m not all that sure others get the hyper days.) And sure, there is the sadness and tears, the part everyone knows about.

Grief is a tangled mess, a maze of unorganized emotions that you somehow understand the rhythm of over time.

Learning to live without the person that was my purpose is probably the hardest part.

After a grief episode and the grief hangover that comes after, I know there will be relief. But it doesn’t always come as fast as I’d like it to. And that’s just the way this journey goes sometimes.

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Living with grief. It’s not all sad.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and currently working on getting a book published. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory.

5 thoughts on “Grief: Going all ‘hallmark’ on you”

  1. You are helping countless people through the beauty of Charles’ life and your journey through surviving this horrendous pain that not many understand.

    Since losing my sister, I seem to have become gripped with paralyzing fear that all those I love unabashedly are going to leave me. Have you had this experience?

    1. I have. When I don’t hear from someone that’s supposed to come to my house, I start feeling anxious. After what we’ve been through, we just don’t have that cavalier “it will be OK” attitude.

      1. Yep – i start worrying immediately. Especially anyone older or who has been sick. My husband travels and I worry about him the whole time.

  2. YOU have never cheated on Charles not one day in your life or his. You may not have been sure what to do, but what parent does? Life is NOT like Facebook – all happy stories, smiling faces, and the perfect life. You know this. You are the expert.

    By the powers vested in me – SCT – I grant you a break. Pick your poison – a day in bed, too much wine, too long of the run that leaves your body in horrific pain…. Pick your poison, you know you have earned it.

    After you do what needs to be done, erase GUILT from your vocabulary! You DID try everyday the best you could – I was there. You DID sacrifice so much for your Mother’s love – I was there.

    Your mission now is to help others. You know you will do your best at that too.

    This is your permission slip. Print it and tape it to your computer!

    Love you,
    Stephanie

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