Loss is forever.
Grief is the result of loss, any loss, be it a relationship, a job, a friend, death, natural disasters, etc., loss is always around. What things happen when there’s a loss? What emotions come to the forefront, flow through and maybe stay for a while? How much is normal and what isn’t?
I was privy to a conversation between friends recently and a few good points were brought up to think about. My reference point is only my losses – home, health, and death of a parent. These two ladies were so persuasive I began thinking about what I was thinking and saying and how it was interpreted by others. Loss is not easy and there’s no Owner’s Manual that tells you step by step how to fix it and how long it will take to get it done. You’re on your own there unless you have very, and I mean very, supportive family and/or friends. It’s hard and I don’t see how one person can manage alone unless there is one strong person that does only what that person does to keep your line of sight open.
The ladies brainstorm on some issues. For simplicity, here’s the definitions, courtesy of Dictionary.com, of the main words used.
Grief – keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.
Self-pity – pity for oneself, especially a self-indulgent attitude concerning one’s own difficulties, hardships, etc.
Pity – sympathetic or kindly sorrow evoked by the suffering, distress, or misfortune of another, often leading one to give relief or aid or to show mercy.
Complain – to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault.
One year later, since the death of my parent, I can say that I still have no idea of what the concept of grief really means. Not like that, anyway. It’s a hollow void inside, almost like half of you is missing and you keep trying to find yourself but you’re not there, anywhere you look. Weird, strange and most times, intolerable.
So self-pity comes on. I didn’t realize until I started this research project of mine but that’s what I am. A pity party. Really, I’m a funny, crazy, laughing chick but the untrue self will show, even if I don’t speak a word. But hey, I know now.
Pity is a nice word but it doesn’t accomplish anything. I’m sorry for lots of things, or pity them, but that doesn’t change anything unless I do something about it, right? If there’s no change, refer back to self-pity.
All this mess leads to complaining. And it’s sad. And I don’t know how to fix it and professionals are only in it for the money, or that’s been my experience. It’s a self-inducted mind-control issue that we bring on ourselves when we don’t learn how to deal with this is a right way. How DO you deal with this the right way? I wish I knew.
I have a friend who lost his parent a couple of months after I lost mine. He said something to me a few months later that stuck with me. “This is a whole new lifestyle change.” I could have hugged him because he figured it out and said the words. Yesterday, I was reading a book that explained the same thing but as another path, the loss of self-identity. You see, when our identity is wrapped around someone else, that person is a main part in our identity. When we lose that identity, we are literally lost and must find a new one. A clean slate, you could say.
Some grievers push people away, push and push and push, isolate themselves because they don’t know who they are anymore and then end up without friends because of their own loss. The push is uncontrollable but the loss of friends might be forever. That could change if loss should affect them but that’s never something we want to happen to our friends and loved ones.
I don’t know what the answers are to heal the pain because I still hurt. I don’t know what’s normal and what’s not. I still haven’t found the Owner’s Manual. I wish I did know so I could share but it’s just one day at a time, like everyone else.
This is not a usual post but the conversation was so interesting that I felt the need to share. I can only speak for me but there has to be so many out there who feel the same way I am, and they are. We can’t make it all better but we can know someone else feels the same thing…..and we’re not alone.