Posts Tagged ‘grief’

Someday I’ll wish upon a star and
wake up where the clouds are far behind me ~~~ E.Y. Harburg

Step 1

Stay away, no… come closer.

I can’t decide.

I’ll wake up soon,

The world will be still,

I’ll breathe again.

Step 2

Left out here on my own,

To piss off the world.

I’d love to throw these stones,

But they’ll come hurling back,

Bruising me deeper with each collision.

Step 3

I’ll take the blame,

Whatever you need.

No more words drowning out the music,

No more impulses that can’t be controlled,

Just… stay.

Step 4

Just leave, go away,

I should always be alone.

The waves are so high,

They’ll crash on me soon,

Over and over and over.

Step 5 

It’s not brave to accept the inevitable,

There’s nothing poetic in letting go.

Giving up isn’t acceptance,

Caving in isn’t relief,

I’m not so… delicate. 

…  and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true. ~~~ E.Y. Harburg

Read Full Post »

Next Wednesday, March 31st, will mark the one year anniversary of my mother’s death. I’ve thought about it a lot these past couple of weeks. I’ve thought about the mourning process and how long it lasts and what exactly it is — really. I think mourning is different from grieving — I have my own thoughts on grieving. But mourning, it’s different… I think mourning might, at some point, settle in to relief.

I had a great-aunt, Aunt Dot. I loved her, we all did. She was crude and funny and bossy and rough around the edges and caring and nosey — she was wonderful. Long before I was born, she was badly injured in a car wreck. It left her paralyzed from the hips down. Her husband worshipped her — worshipped her. He lifted her in and out of her wheelchair and in and out of the bed. He drove her everywhere. He put her leg braces on her and propped her at the sink so she could do dishes or cook. He cleaned. He cooked. He did everything for her — he worshipped her. When she passed away, I remember my uncle and the lost look in his eyes. I remember seeing him get into the car at the funeral home as we all were leaving to go to the cemetary — he collapsed in the back seat. He was inconsolable. He had lived his life for her — and now she was gone.

A few months later, he took a trip. It was the first time he had been away from his home in about 30 years. I would never have asked him if the feeling he had was relief — but I’m sure that’s what he was experiencing.

I think when you go through a health struggle with a loved one — cancer, injury, prolonged illness — and then they pass away, the mourning period looks different. I think at some point you have to admit that the feeling you have is relief. It’s a little scary — relief. It’s hard to get a handle on it.

We battled cancer with my father for 2 years from diagnosis until he died. Six weeks later my mother was diagnosed with cancer — in between my father’s death and my mothers diagnosis, my oldest sister’s husband died from colon cancer. Cancer sucks. That month and a half was so not a good time in my world. We battled cancer for 14 months with my mother from diagnosis until she died. Thirty-eight months straight of a long hard battle for my father and my mother — that I lost. It took its toll.

I wrote some things for my mother’s funeral that I had her minister read (I was, of course, unable to speak). One of the things I mentioned was how I felt like I hadn’t had a chance to mourn my father’s death because the battle never ceased long enough to breathe — 38 months.

So, I mourned — for both of them — when my mother died. But then the mourning gave way to relief. And the relief gave way to guilt. The guilt is leaving — slowly.

So, next week will be the one year anniversary of my mother’s passing. I’ll wait to see what the day will bring. I’ll let you know.

And now, enjoy this song by Anthony Skinner. We were fortunate to have Anthony and his wife sing this song at my father’s funeral.

Read Full Post »

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross really hit one out of the park when she published her five stages of grief in, “On Death and Dying”. I have this book or, my mother had this book. My mother read everything. She was a therapist and often counseled people on grief. She was also an avid reader of good books, I would love to be able to impress her with some of my new friends. Well, back to the stages of grief:

1. Denial — Yes, absolutely — did it.

2. Anger — Without a doubt — just ask my co-workers.

3. Bargaining — Ahh yes, a tricky one — but, did it.

4. Depression — Hardest to admit to — but, yes, did it.

5. Acceptance — Hmm. Well, this one is tricky as well. I don’t think we ever accept our grief — unclear on this one.

I definitely am not going to dispute any of the Kübler-Ross stages (that would be like saying Shakespeare was a hack). But, I do think some attention should be given to some additional stages. For example:

1. Chocolate — As we know, chocolate has actual healing effects on the body. Some of which are;  benefits to the circulatory system, brain stimulator, cough preventor, anti-diarrheal. Of course, the problem arises when we combine chocolate with stages 1, 2 and 4 on the Kübler-Ross scale. This then can lead to obesity — that is bad. But, then again, we are talking about grief here — and all good bouts of grief start with chocolate. So, I think chocolate should get an entire stage to itself in the grief process.

2. No motivation to do anything for yourself — yes, I know this is similar to the depression stage but I think the dissimilarities are enough to point out. Sometimes during grief, you maintain your ability to do for others — to get the kids to all their sports, to do the laundry, to clean the house. What I’m really referring to here is not doing anything for yourself. For example, maybe you were eating well and exercising regularly before the grief. But then, you just didn’t care anymore — about your own health. This gives the no motivation to do anything for yourself its own stage.

3. Cooking — Bear with me on this one. There is something about grief that paralyzes our ability to cook. Others recognize this and bring you food — this is good. I love to cook. I used to cook quite often. I have starting cooking again. Sometimes grief can be measured in how often you cook. Therefore, cooking gets its own stage.

4. Twitter — Ok, ok. Those of you who know about twitter, know of its healing qualities. Naysayers, I say to you, just give it a try. I actually set-up my twitter account when I had to move my mother to the Alive Hospice unit downtown (I was bored, not much to do there). I didn’t start actually using it until about four or five months ago. (The previously mentioned stages of grief were in control at that time). But, once I understood it and could find people I related to — it was like being immersed in the healing powers of the Dead Sea. So twitter gets its own stage of grief (on the positive end of the healing curve).

5. Blogging — you knew it was going there. I started this blog just as a way to vent (actually, I guess that’s why all blogs are started). It was due to the people I connected with on twitter — (see how we’re still on the positive side of the healing curve). Through my own blogging, I re-discovered a passion for writing, for friendship, for sharing. Therefore, blogging deserves a stage to itself because of its ability to bring you through safely.

Back to Kübler-Ross and the acceptance stage — I still don’t know if this stage actually exists. To accept means to believe that the situation is final — it is not. A very wise friend told me that sometimes we need, “… a distraction and reminder that we don’t get to stop time, and that’s probably a good thing.” Sometimes you just need a little distraction to help you get to where you need to be — back on the treadmill, back in the kitchen, back to the keyboard.

Read Full Post »