Sitting with grief

I had two goals for today. I wanted to attend a team meeting at work, and I wanted to have a productive counselling session. It’s time to start moving forward. At least that’s how I felt this morning.

I took Bryson to daycare, which went well. I love his daycare. It was his first day back. He was ready.

I had time to go home before my meeting, so I thought I’d do a load of laundry. Some of Brody’s blankets were in with the towels and I shrank to the laundry room floor and cried. I was frustrated with myself. Why can’t I hold it together? Jensen found me and suggested I stay home and play cards and watch Friends. Goal one not accomplished.

I drove downtown for my first counselling session. I had high expectations that the counsellor would give me advice on how to feel better and share some best practices for going back to work. She was compassionate and genuine and encouraging, but she kept repeating the line: “This is so fresh.” Again and again she said it. “I know this is a very hard time. This is so fresh.”

After the far-too-brief meeting, I sat in a coffee shop reading all the material she had given me on losing a child. I read how this is considered the most significant loss a person can face in life. I read how – though it is possible to move forward – this loss will always stay with us. I read how it is crucial to be with the grief, to sit with it and feel it. And the counsellor’s words kept repeating in my head, “This is so fresh. It’s so fresh.”

I felt lost. Goal two not accomplished.

My philosophy in life is to make plans and move forward. The sooner you can tick the boxes, the better. I want to talk to an expert or read a book that tells me exactly what to do and when to do it. I want a solution. I want an action plan.

But I think this might not work that way.

I will be weak for a while, maybe a long while. I don’t know. I need help right now. I need to be patient with this awful process and acknowledge that I don’t know how long it will take.

I can make good choices, I can feed the good wolf, but I might need to stop making goals for a while. I might need to let go of my expectations and just be with my grief.

Apparently sitting still right now is a prerequisite to moving forward.

One Reply to “Sitting with grief”

  1. Dear Myrranda.
    I’ve been reading your blog and feel your raw pain, hurt and faith. I can’t tell you how sorry we were to hear about your loss of your dear sweet Brody – far too soon in life. No mother on this earth would want to go through what you are right now. You are in our hearts and prayers as you follow this journey.
    You seem to be soul searching in some ways for the “right way” to deal with your grieving process. You are an amazing person. Don’t sell yourself short as there is no “correct way to go forward”. Your grief and pain are uniquely yours and have to be processed in their own way and time. No one can quantify your pain or set a timeline for when it gets better.
    A Christian writer Barbara Johnson wrote:
    “Grief is not a sign of weakness, but a tribute to the loved one, and a healthy response to our heartache. Avoiding grief postpones recovery. Clinging to grief prolongs pain. Neither approach helps us heal”. She added 3 T’s are essential to recovering from the loss of a loved one: TEARS TALK & TIME.
    Time required varies so much for each individual. There will always be pain around Brody’s death but with short term goals & taking things one-day-at-a-time, hopefully you will gradually attain a point where one day the pain & tears are no longer all encompassing and other facets of your life move to the forefront. It won’t be a pivotal moment but a slow transition. Your vulnerability especially in the first year will be around triggers you aren’t always cognitive are there, like Brody’s blanket, anniversary dates, holidays etc. that are unexpected and by association bring back that pain and heartache. Each tear and moment will gradually make it a little easier. Gradual is the key word here.
    Your hope as a Christian for better days ahead will keep you going for you and your precious family.
    “Hope can mend a broken heart – if you give God all the pieces”.
    Keep focused and let your councillor help you discover that inner strength you’ll continue to need to move forward – baby steps at a time.
    With love and best wishes only.
    Deb MacDonald.

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