Dealing with Grief
For weeks, I have been pondering upon this and dilly-dallying on this post. Since Friday, I’ve been doing it while putting a pose for a while asking myself if it was worth it. Trust me I’ve done this like close to a hundred times. This indecisiveness is because it is the hardest I will ever have to do because it literally strips me naked and leaves me bare. That is not always an advantage for me because I love control over my life more than anything. More so, I love the upper hand when it comes to my life. Oh well! Here it goes.
The loss of a loved one or a significant person in our lives can be the biggest mountain in our way or a quest that is too hard to unravel. Most of us or at least all of us have had to deal with the loss of someone in our lives whom we held dear. The worst thing about it is the fact that we can’t see them again unless in the afterlife when we’ve also passed on. The thought of unfinished business, words not said, and so on eats us alive.
Dealing with the fact that we can never see this beloved is the biggest task. The first death of a dear one that I saw in my life was that of my grandfather. I was five years old. I remember not feeling any emotion because I never understood what was going on. Later after listening to people’s conversation and talking to my aunt she explained. The only emotion that came close to a tear was that I had lost the only audience I had to my storybook reading, and no candy will be coming after a read. But I was comforted by my aunt’s words that he will be in heaven watching over us. I guess the comfort came from knowing that he is not extinct just in another place waiting for us.
In a loss, despair crops in and dealing with this tough time becomes unbearable. Especially after all who came to mourn with us are gone. Many of us lack proper ways to deal with this time, and it goes without question that it is hard. Especially when you have people telling you to move on. I often wonder who asked for their opinion! I know they all mean well, but it’s always important to respect someone’s feelings. In spite of all of us having gone through the loss of anyone close to us or same person in question, we all don’t feel the same way or were close in a similar manner to the other, hence, we can never understand what the other person is going through. How close someone was with the deceased or circumstances surrounding the death or the events that occurred before the death determines how one will grieve and for how long and eventually how they cope.
A few months ago I did some work on poetry and came across the poem, ‘A Simple Child’. Reading through it made me feel justified in how I chose to deal with grieve. In the poem, the young girl is a family of seven siblings, though two are dead she refuses to consider them dead. The man in a conversation with her tries to explain to her that they are only five, but she challenges the man by showing him they are seven. She is in full awareness that the two siblings are dead because she points out that they are in heaven but refuses to kill them in her heart and mind.
The death of a loved one is an effect that marks us for life. It can either be a scar or a wound depending on how we deal with it. A wound needs nursing daily or every so often, it can either get worse by rotting as time goes but on the other hand a scar just reminds us of what happened but shows all is well. It is just there to show us the path that we’ve been through at one point but doesn’t dictate our lives in the form of pain. I look at the way this little girl in the poem deals with mourning and am overjoyed. I read the reviews and analysis on the poem and understood that the young girl is not in denial but knows that her siblings have died. She acknowledges that they are not entirely gone, but their spirits live on. Perhaps that’s the only comfort we need, to deal with grief.
In my life losing a loved one has been tough, but it never took a toll on me till I lost the person I held dearest. Especially with what happened before her death. I’d always been close to my mom, she was the love of my life, my confidant and the reason I aspired to be someone in life, but a few months before she passed on we had a falling out. Let’s be clear, though we were close I wasn’t always an easy child in some way. She did something to me (Which I swore to someone they would be the last person to hear of it, so never wait to see me share it) that was heart-breaking. Those who know me well enough understand that I have a weakness when it comes to forgiving people that I hold dear to me. I don’t celebrate it that’s why I call it a weakness and I try to work on it. At that time, I was full of bitterness, and I remember we had a sitting with her at one time, and I poured my ‘bitterness’ to her of how I could not fathom a mother is doing that… As days passed, she asked for my forgiveness, and it wasn’t fourth coming. She used people around us to try to talk to me, but she couldn’t share what actually happened, and I was also not ready to do so. At some point she got sick, and I went almost every day to help her out but wasn’t ready to forgive.
Though the last week before her passing on, I could say we were in good terms. She asked to see me severally, and it was what would come out of her mouth every time we spoke over the phone. I had just gotten a new job, and I had to wait till Saturday for my off to go over and see her. So I explained to her, she understood and replied with words of blessings. As if she knew they would be among the last words I’d hear come out of her mouth she spoke blessings over my life more than was necessary for the said circumstance. Saturday came and four hours before I was to go and see her spirit was lifted.
All I can remember and what has been a point of comfort in my dealing with it is what happened the time when she died. I received a call that she had fallen, and they were about to rush her to the hospital. As I was leaving the office to go check on her, that is, after two minutes or so, I felt this unexplained peace in my heart that I usually feel when something good is about to happen. A few minutes later, thinking in my heart that all will be well my brother called me that she had breathed her last. The weird thing is that even after the call and the disorientation in the midst of town, I still felt the peace.
Years later that is sometime last year; I remembered that peace I had felt and I was assured she was in a better place and she knows I had forgiven her. I have to tell you it was never easy, knowing that the person you loved died without knowing you had forgiven her. Without having to hear you utter those words. And worse of hearing judging voices from people around and mostly some family members who never had a clue of what really happened was a battle that drove me to depression and almost taking my life. But I overcame all odds. Just like I did you also can, maybe yours may not be as worse as mine, or more than my experience but all I know is that there is nothing too difficult that you can’t handle. Choose to forgive yourself if you need to or forgive the other person and make a decision to celebrate their lives knowing they are in a better place. I’ve come to the point of celebrating my loved one. Yes I may shed a tear or two at some point (am yet to find out if that will come to a finality someday) but there is no sorrow in my tears, pity also disappeared at some point. Hope this post will be of great help to you and a friend.