Monday, March 26, 2018
I have been thinking a lot about the nature and process of grief and loss over the past couple of days (well, really, for the past year), as my family approaches the first anniversary of my mother’ sudden and unexpected passing. I asked my dad yesterday if he preferred the family to gather, or if he would rather be left alone on April First (the actual day)... and he said he hadn’t realized that Sunday was the first, and he didn’t really know how he felt. My parents were married for 51 years, and my father loved my mom outrageously, and with such sweetness. I cannot fathom the depth of his loss and the hole her passing left in his life. Sure, she was my mom, but I lived a life that intersected with hers, rather than was completely intertwined.
Anyways... talking to dad, and reading the blog of a dear Spark friend who lost her son... it occurred to me that we all experience our grief in different ways. I believe that no way is “better” than another, and we all process our loss as we can, how we can. Some might be more productive than others (ummm... emotional eating? Not so helpful in the long run. At least not for me)... but denial has a place, just as processing and moving through the stages of grief have their places.
And what we grieve might not be a loved one... I know that with my health issues of the past year or two I have grieved over the “betrayal” of my body and loss of functionality and increasing limitations on my mobility...
I know I grieved over the loss of dreams I had for the future when I was first diagnosed with my mental illness (and I know my parents did too)... but... with each loss or betrayal I (we?) reassess, reorganize, and restructure our perceptions and expectations... and yes, dreams and hopes.
I think that is the one of the biggest things I am learning about myself as I work through my grief... that I have been doing this... without conscious thought or direction for a long time... but it works better if I work at it consciously and with the same effort I put into my weight loss.
The history I established of small successes... leading to a major accomplishment (goal weight anyone?) reassures me that if I apply myself to a task, whether it is physical, mental, or emotional... I can set small, achievable goals for myself and create that pattern of success again.
For me, at this point, success would be living with the absence of my mother and dealing with the scar left behind in the healthiest ways possible and remembering her life with love and fondness and no regrets. I am getting there... I think. It is a process, and like weight loss it is not a completely linear one!
Okay, I have rambled enough... I hope you have a great day and a great week!