Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Facing grief the way I know how.

I did not plan how I would handle my own grief.

I had no idea what feelings have slipped in unnoticed that had left me numbed throughout for months that went by, in that I was merely existing but have not much inkling of whatever else that is going on. It was really as if, I had found a door into another zone altogether.

It was like being in a trance after being stucked with a broken record playing in your head for the longest time that you no longer know it is there. Sometimes the feeling is like, being in the eye of the storm where everything else is just twirling around with such high speed madness but leaving one totally unaffected and indifferent, while at other times, it just sucks one in and devastate everything leaving one completely powerless and there is not a thing that one can do about it.

There have also been times when a certain smell or an everyday ordinary item like his favorite mug or a coffee spoon would hit me so unexpectedly that it would jolt me up from the usual rut that I have been in.

It made me want to get up and face it like a warrior and fight my Enemy with well girded strategies and readiness. But most times, I confront it simply because it made me angry enough to do something. I was tired of always running in circles and being continually harassed and tormented by this unfamiliar enemy. I just had to be mean enough to want to let it know what I think of it.

It could be an all perfectly beautiful day and yet it would break me down to shreds because I could not share it with him. On a horribly miserable day, it was worst because I could not find him to tell it to. Some days, I would find myself staring into his cabinet where his clothes are and held on to it and cry like a child who had just been abandoned. It was like a scene of a train crashing into me again and again but I would still not move.

My own isolation for months in a familiar dark corner of my room which I called “my world” brought me much solace and a sense of rest. In it, I felt that time suspended. In it, I finally found a tiny space in this wide big Universe which belonged to me. I am no longer uncomfortable or afraid of the dark because it has taught me that only in darkness, can I see the stars. Darkness comforted my soul. In it, i saw despair, sorrow and emotions that one can only see from the eyes of the heart. I revel in them for while it had brought me much pain, at least they were real.

Hours and days can slip off without even me noticing. I had no interest in whatsoever that I was doing. The first three months was mostly doing the same activity which I felt I could manage best. I found my limbs and body parts mostly attached to the bed in a face down fashion. Like I needed to feel my heartbeat to remind me that I was still alive even though I could not feel it.

I could not talk to anyone about it because I was convinced that no one would understand even though I knew how much they cared about my well being. I could not even manage a full sentence when I was trying to write, after a Grief Counsellor visited me and advised me to try journaling. I so desperately wanted to open up a window to let it all out, even if it is, just a little at a time. But I could not find a word to even begin.

I could not face the people who cared about me. Even worst, I could not even face the two precious persons who needed me most at that time.. my children. A family friend had even said to me that it was odd of me, and even selfishly irresponsible to be neglecting them at the time when they most needed assurance and guidance in leading them out of their sorrow for losing their dad who had also meant the world to them. I just withdrew even more.

Months went by and as I was coping with my own grief the best way that I knew how, they too did the same. Somehow i just know that God will help me watch over the boys and everything which i am falling short, until i am able again. Not sure when or for how long. But i know God will just be there.


Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Have you ever felt like dying after you had lost someone?

Have you ever felt like dying after you had lost someone? Have you ever wondered if you will ever feel better? Have you ever wished you could trade places because it is far more painful to have to deal with grief than death itself. Unless you have gone through the pits of darkness and sorrow in those moments where the world had just blacked-out on you when that loved one dies, you will not know what I mean.

You will have no words to describe all that is going on inside your head. Every single experience that you quote when someone asks how you are may only make up a tiny fraction of everything else that is screaming from inside of you.

All the things which at one time seemed important doesn’t matter anymore. You will feel like dying because the days ahead seemed like a long road that is simply too unfamiliar, intimidating and not something you believe you can manage alone for the rest of your own journey. If only a flight ticket is all it takes to find him in any corner of this world, there would have been at least something which you could do!

Everything in your head seemed to have frozen. Like a complete standstill in the middle of a massive traffic jam. You can't think or even make an apparently simple decision. But you have to believe that if you could do it then, you could do it now, you just have to think baby steps.

Options aren't many here. But over time, every simple task which you undertake will take you further away from the first one. You just have to pick up from whichever pieces you can get hold of and brave it through one by one.

Ignore opinions of people around you who may think you are stuck in your grief and believe you have grieved long enough. They may even feel frustrated because you are making so little progress and have not started a new life by now. Not even another widow may feel the same intensity as each life story that one shares with the spouse is unique. Forgive them for they know not what they are saying.

Take your time. Listen to the birds. Stare deep into the greens of nature and return the smiles to those blooms that greet you. Plunge into the rivers of peace from God above. When nothing else makes sense, think nothing more of it. Like a child, learn to lean on the One who holds your breath and knows the number of your days.

Each day will bring you closer to the promise that everything will get better because you survived.


Tuesday, 2 December 2008

*For just another ordinary day..

Mitch's Albom's book on "For One More Day", poses the question to all who has lost a loved one and think, what would I do if I could have him or her back for just one more day?

So many thoughts raced through my mind. What would I really want to do if i had Ben back, even if it was only for just one more day? If only I could savour just one more of that ordinary day like we had shared for our last 20 years of our marriage.

I miss his cheeky smile and the twinkle in his eye. I wish to feel the warmth of his hand and sit quietly with him and stare out at the greens and blooms in our garden with our cup of coffee's aroma wafting through the air, and maybe chat for hours like we used to concerning the most trivial and unimportant things around us. I long to be lost in his hugs and in knowing i am his world.

To just hear his laughter and generous compliments.. or his wisdom just one more day. To see him enjoying his time with the boys whether in recreation or just doing a simple task together. To see his smile and pride beaming through in the reflection of his eyes.

To hear his hearty chuckle when we say something funny. To hear his familiar whistle as he comes through the door every evening. To see his face of contentment when I've cooked him his favourite food.

To just snuggle up and lie beside him and hear his heartbeats in my ear. To hear his snore in the nights.. To hear his loud clearing of his throat in the morning.

To hear him say to me, just one more time.. that he will always love me- even beyond infinity.... for just one more day.