Saturday, October 19, 2013
Flavors of Grief
I have been watching "The Young & Restless" TV soap opera this week. Billy and Chloe's very young daughter, Delia was hit by a car and died. Watching Billy and Chloe deal with their grief in the first 12 hours after their daughter's death has brought back so many raw memories to me. These actors really have done an outstanding job of capturing those first hours of shock, disbelief, and wanting to scream and never stop screaming. They are angry. So angry. Thoughts of "what could I have done differently" to prevent this are going on and on through their heads. Grief is cruel and it is forever. Grief has many flavors. The fresh raw flavor of those days and weeks right after the loss. Your body feels like it weighs tons because each movement you make takes so much energy and you have none left in you because grief took it. Crying leaves you exhausted. Loss leaves you exhausted. I have been exhausted this past week. Remembering the details of losses exhausted me. My, "This couldn't happen to me!" thoughts have been exhausting. But it did happen to me. It seems like I have been dealing with grief in one flavor or another for just forever. I went out on the beach the only sunny day we had this week. I rode across the high rise bridge over the sound with the full view of the never-ending ocean facing me. The salty winds were warm and felt good to my face. Part of me thought back to the days of taking this exact ride but as a teenager with the car full of girlfriends and the music over the radio was loud and fun. Grief was the last thing on our minds! Two of us have since heard those words you never want to hear. Little did we know then what life had on the horizon for us. The ocean is like grief. It is massive and so full, especially at high tide. High tide takes over the beach, leaving less room for sand castles. Low tide is more friendly to me. The beach has plenty of room to run and twirl around and play in the sand, building those sand castles that the high tide will wash away. Ebb tide is my favorite. There is a calm then. Everything stays the same for just a short while. There are no highs or lows. Middle ground of peace as I see it. The sun rising over the ocean is so beautiful as are the sunsets. The beauty just fills me with awe. I love the sunrise the most. It brings on a new day of hope, a brightness in your day. This brightness is a flavor of grief you experience after much time has passed. I used to listen to the song (still do) "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" by Jerry & the Pacemakers when I was a teenager in the 1960's. It was part of the "British Invasion" of the '60's. It has some truth for me. Crying is not a bad thing. We need to do our crying to cleanse ourselves. Later on, you will be able to hear the birds singing and get joy from their songs. Just never get too comfortable with your new found calm. There are always storms on the horizons with grief. Some quickly ride over and you get back to your sun and calm. Others just hang around and pound you with its lightening, thunder and downpours of rain. Grief did that to me this week. However, I'm going to pick myself up as I usually do and just keep going. I will continue to ride the waves.