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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

So very close: 1 year of grief

As I approach the one year anniversary of H's death, the anxiety that wakes me increases and I gasp from sleep to waking, catching my breath. I know not what clings to my dreams, only that the sense of loss is still so very prevalent in my life. I have been irrevocably changed--punctuated by repetition in every site I have visited in dealing with a loved one's suicide. I have been trying to work through the "what may well be the worst pain you will ever feel." ( There is no doubt that I miss H but the pain seems to be lessening. I have researched and commiserated, used biology to help explain how I am feeling. The memorial that surrounded me has slowly receded back into drawers and I no longer think about her every waking moment. There is no true closure but I have survived. On Friday-it will be one year at approximately 9:30 pm June 12th on a Thursday, one year ago, she left this earth. Her remains are mere ash but her memory is celebrated in every tear I cry. I miss you, baby sister.

What of my family? Each of us has been in our own private painful world trying our best to deal with this taboo. Suicide is not readily discussed and as often as I repeat what happened, I don't want to believe it. It makes no sense. I just need to read her journal, as sparse as it may be. Maybe so I can understand? Maybe for a release of any blame I place on myself?

According to

•See, you're really not going crazy!

•Many others have had to travel this hard road before you. You are not alone.

•Grief is a long-term process, and you will have good days and bad.

•There is hope-- brighter days lie ahead for you.

•You will never return to your pre-grief state, but you will eventually find joy in life in new ways that you invent.

•There really are no true "stages of grief" and no time frame for mourning. this second stage, you will come to a more orderly existence, but you will feel lonely and depressed, alternating with waves of intense grief. The "roller coaster ride" of grief. As long as your emotions are moving and changing, unpredictable, and "fluid", your grief is right on track.

Surrender to it, and let the grief take you where you need to go. Your grief is wiser than you.

This active grieving stage, suffering, lasts for months, and even intermittently for years. It is a normal and necessary part of grieving, and it is important not to avoid it, delay it, ignore it or suppress it. To the contrary, it is important that you experience it


New grief stages...

Many but not all who grieve start to see some improvement in their emotions after a year has passed. Acceptance and full recovery don't happen overnight. Your depression and despair will just slowly start to turn a corner and lighten up for you.

This stage is not the end of pain, but the ability to function with it and reconnect to the interesting and happy parts of life. Your great hurt will never be forgotten... it just recedes into the background of your life. Other more immediate demands will start to take precedence. Your son's soccer game will take on some importance for you once again.

And you may see ONE benefit from your grief experience... a new appreciation for the preciousness of life and a new-found ability to live life in the moment.

Here is where I Friday draws near.

"We find a place for what we lose. Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of mourning will subside, we also know that we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute. No matter what may fill the gap, even if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else".
--- Sigmund Freud (1961)

"I'll cry with you,"
she whispered
"until we run out of tears.
Even if it's forever.
We'll do it together."

There it was . . . a simple
promise of connection.

The loving alliance of
grief and hope that
blesses both our breaking
apart and our coming
together again.

Molly Fumia, Safe Passage