Grieving

I have written numerous drafts in the last few weeks, but I just couldn’t find satisfaction in the pieces I wrote. It didn’t convey the messages I wanted to. The writing seemed stale and boring. I seem to be at some sort of writer’s block… but I’m trying to push through.

Without going into too much detail, my uncle Mark suddenly passed away from a brain aneurism, a little over two weeks ago. His wife, our entire family and many friends were left at a loss. He was truly a special man and we were so lucky to have the time with him that we did.

His death sparked a lot of feelings and thoughts, some I couldn’t make sense of. So much was brought to light. I had numerous realizations, including some regrets (which I pride myself on not having). And I even grieved. I cried. A lot. Like a lot, a lot. And not just because of uncle Mark’s death, but because of all the little and not-so-little things that followed that unexpected, saddening phone call I received on Sunday evening.

Everybody grieves in a unique way. Sometimes it can be hard to help someone, as their grieving journey may leave them feeling angry and confused. We all deal with life events in our own ways, the final sealant of life – death – is no different.

I wondered why it wasn’t me that God took. I don’t have the zest for life that uncle Mark did, as I have tried to kill myself several times before. He didn’t want to go. Nobody wanted him to go, but I guess God did. And that was enough.

I wrote post after post that somehow all ended on a negative note, and that’s not my typical writing style. I mean it’s okay if the body of the message has negative thoughts, but the article should end on a positive note. I just couldn’t seem to do that.

I thought about how unfair life is. I thought about the lack of control I actually have over my own life, as I can’t even seem to decide my own fate. And then I thought about my mindset. I felt myself slipping into that depressive state. There was so much pain from uncle Mark’s death and it could be felt from each member of the family.

To say that it’s ALL in my head is complete bullshit, but perception really can be everything. To look for the positive in negative situations really does help. It’s hard… but it’s worth the challenge.

As weird as it seems, good things have already come of Uncle Mark’s death (i.e. the whole family coming together for his funeral). We all took care of each other. We are a very strong family and it shows.

So many things get said to the grieving family members. It can be a struggle to find the right words to say. Death not only takes life, but sometimes our voices too. Death is truly a shock, especially when it happens so suddenly. It can be overwhelming to decide on what to say. That’s okay. Just be there for them. Actions work as well as words, sometimes better.

I’ve never had somebody close to me pass. I honestly can’t even begin to imagine how his wife (now widow) is dealing with all this. Every time I see her she is so composed and I know that it takes all the energy she’s got, but she’s seriously an inspiration. I hope she’s giving herself credit because she is seriously kicking ass.

Those that experience the loss of someone very close to them (like a child, spouse, parent etc…) are warriors. They have to take on so much pain and brokenness. They have to keep going through it all, despite all that’s happening around them. The world doesn’t stop for death. And sometimes it feels like it should.

But what we need to remember with grief, is that it is entirely okay to be sad and upset. We are even allowed to feel angry and confused. Grieving is a unique process for each individual. We have to allow ourselves to experience all the feelings associated with grief. Don’t try to hold in your grief, as it’s important to accept the stage of life you are in. Good things will come out of the grieving process and you will learn even more about yourself and life.

When I had mentioned to my therapist that I had been lacking energy and motivation these last two weeks especially, she told me that it was a part of grieving. And that I had a right to grieve, even if it had been a while since I saw uncle Mark. I don’t have to be someone’s parent or wife to grieve. I am also entitled to grieve.

Hearing this from my therapist was odd, as he was “just an uncle”. And according to some people I don’t have a reason to be so shaken up. But everyone is impacted by people we meet all the time. And uncle Mark had a profound impression that was left with me. I never told him, or much of anyone else how much he meant to me. Now he will never know.

It’s important that we live each day loving those that mean the most to us. But it’s hard to live each day as though it’s your last. It takes a lot of energy, support and positivity. And while you may not be able to live in that mentality, just keep in mind that we do not choose when we go and it could be at any moment. There is something bigger than all of us, whether you believe in God or not, it’s out there.

I understand that little tiffs and circumstances come into play that cause you to be angry at someone you love… and that is okay. Don’t dismiss your feelings just because they aren’t “happy” ones. You are still allowed to be angry at them, just don’t hold a grudge and make sure you learn from the situation at hand.

Living each day like your last is nothing short of exhausting. And sometimes it takes away from the “negative” feelings that we don’t give ourselves adequate time to feel. All feelings are healthy to experience, but there is an appropriate time for them. Remember not be too hard on yourself, especially during the grieving process. You are a human being wired with emotions. Give yourself a chance to experience them.

-CJ

Photo credit: Here
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2 thoughts on “Grieving

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  1. I am so sorry for your loss. At the same time, your words of wisdom are SO true. It is okay to grieve and to process loss in so many different ways. And it’s okay to be patient with yourself too. Thanks for writing this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Brendan. Grief is impossible to define in my mind because it can be soooo many different things! Being patient with ourselves can be so hard, as we are our own worst critic. Especially in today’s world – everything needs to be immediate! We don’t give ourselves enough time to process everything that’s happened in our lives and I think it’s important we change that as a society and just slow down a bit.

      Liked by 2 people

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