Learning to Grieve

Grandmom and Aunt Mary in 1986

This past year has marked the passing of my Grandfather, Aunt, and Grandmother all on my Mom's side of the family.  As 2010 began, I never would have imagined that by June of 2011, these three pillars of our family would be gone.  I am realizing for the first time, that grief is an emotion that evolves.  Here is what I am learning as I wade through this season of grief.

Grief is sharp.  It is instantly painful.
When grief hits, there is not easing in and out of the emotion.  It is an overwhelming power that brings me to my knees. 

Grief is surprising.
It catches you at the most unexpected times.  The barrista at Starbucks this morning asked me if I had a fabulous weekend, and I welled up with tears.  The weekend was full of celebration, my sister's graduation, my cousin's 2nd birthday, and although we had my grandmother's viewing, we made every effort to celebrate her life.  And yet, asking if I had a good weekend still brought me to tears.

Knowing doesn't help.
Our family made the decision to keep my grandmother comfortable rather than aggressively fight her cancer.  Alzheimer's was already stealing her from us.  A brutal fight against cancer wasn't fair to ask of her.  And yet, knowing for weeks that her passing was eminent didn't make the intensity of reality any easier.  I always thought it would...

Children are one of the best medicine's for grief. 
My three and half year old cousin Emma came and gave me a hug at the viewing.  Emma then promptly let me know that we could both paint our toenails rainbow to match so we could be happy.  Adorable.  Behr has also been a comforting champ!

God's timing doesn't make sense.
And yet, we can rest in his promise that his timing is perfect.  I had a very hard time when a trip to tell our family we were pregnant became a weekend marked by the very sudden loss of my grandfather.  And yet, now I am grateful that he didn't have to watch my Aunt Mary and Grandmother suffer and pass before him. 
 

Grief makes God's promise ever more true.
The promise of a life to come is the only comfort I can find.  God is a comforter.  I am grateful for the small gifts I see today - a bird chirpping at my window the morning Grandmom passed away, being home last Wednesday instead of at the office so I could see Behr roll over for the first time.  These little moments are just a glimmer of the glory that is to come. 

4 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry about your losses, and nothing makes it easier. But I'm glad you have so many people (and children!) to brighten your spirits. Keep your head up, darling.

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  2. That's a lot of loss my friend. :( I'm sorry. You sound like you are handling it with a lot of grace and an open heart. I'm glad you have a loving husband and sweet little Behr to comfort you and give you joy.

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  3. Family at a time like this makes all the difference. I love my family...

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  4. Truer words were never spoken, my dear. I can certainly relate to what you're going through... thanks for sharing this with us. :)

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