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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Grief

Grief is something that I've experienced before in my life.  I had a friend die when I was in 8th grade, I lost my grandparents when I was in college, and my Dad died in 2005 - before Scott was diagnosed with brain cancer.   And although I learned a little about grief from all those experiences, and the most when my Dad passed, nothing compares to the grief that I feel from losing Scott.  I'm learning now that grief comes in many forms and sometimes pops up when I least expect it.

The degree of grief that I feel at any one particular moment can change in an instant.  Sometimes I feel absolutely fine and then I see a reminder of Scott - a coffee mug, an article of clothing, his empty spot at the dinner table - and I'm instantly in tears. Other times, I hear a song, see a picture, or imagine his voice and I well up with emotion.  Sometimes, for a very brief moment, I completely forget he is gone from my world ---tonight the kids and I were watching TV and smiling and laughing and I thought to myself 'I have to call Scott and tell him about this' as if he were on a business trip in which he would soon be returning home - then I remembered he wouldn't be coming home.  But, by far, nighttime is the worst time.  When I crawl into bed at night and he's no longer with me, saying he loves me and kissing me goodnight, is when I miss him the most.

Grief also doesn't always present itself with tears.  Sometimes it's a strong physical ache deep inside my heart that won't go away.  Sometimes it's sudden feeling of complete exhaustion like all I can do is lie down and go to sleep or find somewhere to be alone.  Sometimes I feel so lonely, even when I'm surrounded by people, because he is the one who should be at my side cheering on our kids at sporting events or socializing at a neighborhood BBQ.  And then sometimes grief is simply anger.  Anger that he is gone, that he won't come back, that I have to raise our kids without him, that I have to make life decisions without his advice and input, anger about so many things.

Papa Ron suggested to me a couple of weeks ago that I should try to follow the H.A.L.T. principle -

  • never get too Hungry 
  • never get too Angry
  • never get too Lonely
  • never get too Tired
So I try to follow this for me and also watch for it in my kids.  If I'm feeling one of those things, I try not to dwell in it's wake for too long -- long enough to grieve -- but not long enough to fall into the "too" arena.   It's not going to be easy and it will take some work and I'll miss him for a very, very long time but as I told him before he left this world, I'll be ok.  I know in time, I'll be ok.




Thanks for the great advise Papa Ron.

xoxo,
Julie

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