I recently read two really great articles on grief and loss. One was from the New York Times and the other from facebook that a dear work friend (I believe I have mentioned her before-Miss Sassy Pants I think is her code name). They talked about how there is both the expectation of grief and how others see/help. Then there is reality. Reality around here sucks folks.
I wish my blog didn't have to turn into this emo place about me talking about how life sucks right now, but you know what-that is f-ing life for me right now. I have had sympathy for people who have lost a loved one before. I have felt really bad, and in some cases heartbroken. Good friends, students, co-workers have all lost very close loved ones. I felt for them, I tried to help in any way I could. It wasn't until I have experienced my own "real" loss that I have realized my sympathy wasn't really "getting" it. I thought I could empathize with them.....I was wrong. Now looking back at those people in my life who have lost loved ones-Miss Sassy Pants, My Sister Wife (who works with my husband), other co-workers, and students-I don't know how they did it. They made it look easy-like they were ok. Now what I am realizing is they weren't ok-they were doing what I am. Faking it.
I spent a lot of time in therapy working on embracing my feelings and not trying to cover up my feelings. Well right now that is sort of what I have to do in order to function. I have to have some sort of wall up-a protection from the full brunt of this loss. Almost like a band aid or padding on a huge wound. Even with it on there, there are movements where I move the wrong way the pain strikes-fierce and sharp. There is no way I can take the bandage off right now-its not healed enough. The pain would be too much to handle-little bits here and there I can take-but its not ready for no padding yet. When-I don't know, but someday.
Sometimes those movements come when having a flash back of my ride to the hospital or what happened there, sometimes its seeing a picture of my dad, or its seeing the last text message he sent me on my phone that I can't bring myself to delete (it was a wonderful picture of Dylan from his last soccer game), or often its when my children say how much miss they their grandfather.
I sometimes feel just like my daughter Miss J. Today, like many days when my mom comes to bring the kids to school. Miss J wakes up when the dogs bark to of course notify us that my mom is here. She frantically calls for me-looks at me and ask me ever so hopefully who is here to bring her to school. When I answer Noni and Aunty Betty or Grandma and Papa she looks instantly heartbroken when she realizes that Grandpa isn't here (for those who don't know my dad has brought the kids to school or taken care of Josie almost every day of her whole life). It breaks my heart to tell her my dad isn't here-its like I am ripping off her band aid and its ugly. Reality for us right now is just that a letdown-its ugly and not pretty.
In a way I feel bad for all those people who I thought were ok after experiencing their losses-because they seemed fine. Well in theory I am fine too. I get up, I go to work, I talk to friends, coworkers, family, I am a mom to my kids, I lead a somewhat productive life. I am able to do this because I keep my wound very tightly guarded. Unfortunately it makes me feel distant-from my husband, friends, coworkers-especially those who do not "get" this loss.
It makes interacting sometimes hard-as I can only fake it so much. It make quiet time hard for me. I have to read in bed until the moment I am ready to fall asleep-otherwise I won't sleep. Christmas vacation was tough because I wasn't busy enough to make myself tired enough and I had time to be quiet and reflect. Letting down the wall a little was good-but hard.
I am sure it is hard for those who love me to know how/what to do with me. I seem somewhat ok-but they know I am not. I guess to those in my real life I would say hang in there. I still need you in my life. Maybe I just need you in a different way. Maybe I need you to cut me some slack. I need you to be patient in that it is hard for me to make decisions because I have a hard time thinking. I often feel child like in my inability to act or do things that I could easily do. I need you understand that right now I need happy things, light things-I can't really do drama or negativity. Hell I can't read or watch things-its like hitting the wound. To actually deal with hurt or negativity in my real life is unmanageable at best.
The reality of this whole thing is overwhelming and hard to manage. I hate to say but I think a lot of this blog is going to be me rambling my way through my grief. I get if people don't want to read it. I wouldn't want to....then again I never got it until now. Reality is shitty folks. But this is mine and I am managing my way through it the best I can.