Putting Grief into Perspective

In light of all the horrors going on the world today — massive fires, floods, ghastly diseases — talking about my grief seems a bit self-indulgent. In my favor, my intent was never to get people to feel sorry for me, but merely to chronicle one woman’s journey through grief. I wanted to tell what it felt like to lose a life mate/soul mate since I’d never experienced such a massive onslaught of pain, both physical and psychical. In fact, I never even knew such hurt was possible.

Now that my pain has subsided to irritation and sensitivity, mood swings and easily hurt feelings, continuing to blog about my grief does seem a bit over the top as if I’m trying to dramatize myself. But again, that is not my intention. Grief lasts a long time and can cause much damage to the souls of the bereft if not allowed to follow a natural healing cycle, and these more petty side effects of grief are still part of the grieving process. Even when I’m mostly healed and grief assimilated into my life, there will still be the second half of the process to deal with — finding new meaning, new joy, perhaps even a new identity. And all those steps are worth chronicling.

I write this blog mostly for me (and also to show writers the truth about grief since many get it wrong), so any help other grievers glean from my writing is an added blessing. In other words, what I’m writing here in this post today is a reminder for myself of what I am trying to accomplish with these posts as well as trying to put my grieving into perspective.

Sometimes now, I am far removed from the initial pain, and I look back and wonder what the big deal was. So I lost my life mate/soul mate — others have endured such losses and not screamed their pain to the blogosphere. Was it really so hard? Um . . . yeah. It was excruciatingly difficult.

At the same time I marvel that I made such a big deal of my grief, I marvel that within two months of his death I managed to get his funerary arrangements made, his finances tied up, his “effects” and belonging disposed of, the house cleaned, our remaining possessions packed and stored, a new bank account set up, my driver’s license renewed, and make my way 1000 miles from home to look after my 95-year-old father. That’s a lot of work even for a person who isn’t grieving to do by herself. I have no idea how I managed to get all that done within such a short time, especially since I was reeling from a tsunami of agony and anger and angst.

In the two years and three months since his death, others have lost their spouses, their children, their parents, their health, their houses and all they hold dear, and my grief seems pale in comparison, but the truth is, all we can do is travel our own path. What might seem rosier in another’s life or what might seem more horrific, doesn’t change the truth of our own journey. And this is my path — following grief wherever it might lead me.