Tag: grieving

The Secrets You Keep.

But I suck at keeping secrets – well, my secrets, anyway – so here’s a few that my grievy little heart has been bottling up. And because I’m not special, odds are, if you know someone who is grieving, these are their secrets, too.

  • You’re not okay. But you do a pretty good impression of it. And it’s exhausting.
  • There are different kinds of grief. I’ve had the normal kind…lost people I loved and missed terribly. Now I realize there is a different category when you lose the person that was your foundation and this type burns you up and remakes you from the ashes and you suspect you’ll never be the same. (Plus, some of the most honest shit you say sounds super melodramatic.)
  • You feel isolated. You feel like you don’t see the people in your life much. Logic tells you that life is busy – nothing more. But grief tells you that it’s too much work to be around you. So you do your best to be cheerful when you’re with people, but this only makes the isolation worse because now even when you’re with people, you feel like they don’t really see you.
  • The people that assume you’re actually still a mess are the only ones you can really connect with. And that friend that tells you “it doesn’t matter if you cry every time we’re together – you’ll always be worth it” said the one thing you needed to hear more than anything.
  • Life looks different. The good things aren’t as good and the bad things are worse.
  • After four months, you still live in the theater. And the movie hasn’t stopped playing yet. It’s the background noise of your life.
  • You still cry all the effing time. And you’re sick to death of it.
  • That good spell you had gave you a false sense of security that you were coming out the other side. But now you realize that this is actually the most messed up tango ever and you don’t take a step forward without taking a step back.
  • You miss your old self. You want to be that upbeat and optimistic again. But you aren’t driving this train and apparently you don’t get to decide when you get off.
  • And you keep these secrets because nobody likes a whiner.

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain on Grief. Any Questions?

So this was my brain a couple months ago:

Everything is Awesome

And this is my brain now:

batman-graveyard

Dark, lonely, altogether less awesome. Except for Batman. Why is Batman there? Why wouldn’t he be? Okay, I think you’re missing the point – try to stay focused.

Interestingly, the broad array of emotions my normal brain had are gone. Now, I seem to have two settings at a time. For the last couple of weeks, my options were sad or strange, with really no other arrows in my quiver, as they say. Sad involves much crying and varying levels of hysteria. Strange was impulse driven and unpredictable. I think we should have champagne and Taco Bell for dinner tonight. How many chickens do you think I’m allowed to keep in our suburban backyard? I can’t decide on a movie…I’m torn between Sleepless in Seattle and The Exorcist. What’s wrong with me putting whiskey in a wine glass?

You get the point. You can guess which Steve preferred – and not just because he loves Taco Bell.

This week is different. I’m only crying every few days now, but I’m somehow sadder with my settings now being between anxious and depressed. (We should probably all take a moment to pity my wonderful husband for what he is enduring. Okay. Moment’s over. Moving on.) So in between moments where I feel like I’m verging on a panic attack and the ones where I don’t want to get out of bed, I’m lonely.

In all of my angsty self-reflection, I’ve put my finger on this loneliness. My mom and I talked about the details, the facets, the little things. We would put together that 5,000 piece puzzle to get the big picture – which is what I shared with my husband and my friends…the big picture. But my mom, alone, knew exactly what it was composed of – each thought, each worry, every hope and fear. I have supportive people in my life, but never anyone that cared about all the little things. Sure, partly it was because moms have to listen to your crap – it’s in the job description. But part of it was just who she was. Because she cared about your details like they were her own. So what the hell do I do with all these puzzle pieces now?

And there is no loneliness quite the loneliness you feel when you’re surrounded by people.

In other news, I was a little worried all this doom and gloom would make people stop following my blog. I have this to report: you all are a very dark and twisty bunch. But you’re my dark and twisty bunch. ❤

The More True-to-Life Stages of Grief.

Don’t worry. It gets sarcastic.

When I was 14, my mom lost her mother. My mom’s mom was her BFF, was only 63, and inexplicably died of a heart attack without a single warning sign. (I know! Right?) We were all close and I was sad to lose my grandma, but it paled in comparison to watching my mother suffer through such a debilitating loss. And then she proceeded to miss her mom every day for nearly 29 years. Until history effing repeated itself and started this whole messed up cycle again. What kind of bullshit is that? I would like to think that, had my mom had a choice in the matter, she would have adamantly rejected any scenario that would put me through what she went through. Yet here we are. And I’m kinda pissed.

What stage of grief is “anger” again? I’m guessing it falls somewhere between the “WTF?” stage and the “Well, that was a bunch of bullshit” stage. (Note: I have not properly researched the traditional stages of grief but I’m pretty sure mine could catch on.)

Anyway. I’ve also had darling and well-intentioned friends and family tell me that something good comes out of everything, no matter how bad. But my family was already close, I already appreciated every day and didn’t take people for granted (thanks to the aforementioned Grandma) and I was friggin’ strong enough already. Not sure I’ll ever see a silver lining to this shitty little cloud. We’ll call this the “Don’t give me any of that ‘personal growth’ crap” stage.

In other news, I think I’m training Steve not to use the word “need” with me because when he makes the mistake of asking me if “I need anything,” I inevitably answer “yeah, I *need* my mom.” And this leads to the “I should probably try to stop making the people around me uncomfortable” stage. I’m not to this stage yet.

I am, however, simultaneously in the “It’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday and that is clearly late enough for wine” stage and the “I swear to God, if I don’t stop crying, I’m going to sew my tear ducts closed” stage.

And this. This definitely has to be one of the stages. burrito of sadnessBecause Mexican food is always good.