Four years ago this week I became a blogger (Is that a word?) since then I have done more than 200 posts. This is the most difficult one I have written. I normally spend from fifteen minutes to maybe three hours putting one together; I worked on this one off and on for three nights. It wasn’t emotionally difficult; I just couldn’t get my mind to convert what was in my heart into words we can understand. I hope you understand it, I’m not sure I do.
Maybe next week I can return to the lighter side.
If you check with Merriam-Webster, definitions for the word “grief” range from the casual, as in “Good grief Charley Brown” to the serious: “very deep distress caused by the loss of a loved one”. I probably should talk about Charley Brown but I need to share some thoughts about the other kind of grief, or the grieving process.
I have talked about the excruciating emotional pain I experienced with the loss of Sharyl and Conner. I haven’t attempted to put into words the complicated process of dealing with that pain.
There have always been two distinct and different kinds of hurt or two separate holes in my heart. I guess the process started immediately following Sharyl’s death; no one ran a flag up the pole and said okay the process has started. There is no scoreboard, time clock or schedule. There is no sure way to measure or document progress; just a self-assessment or “gut feeling”, that is subject to sudden change and that change is not always good.
I think I was naïve enough to believe I was simultaneously processing the grief for both losses. Recently the pain caused by the second loss has been very intense. Apparently I wasn’t capable of dealing with the two separate and distinctly different types pain at the same time.
I think two important milestones in the process are acceptance and not for the pain to go away, but for it to stabilize, (the hurt today is about the same as the hurt yesterday). I think, at least temporarily, I have reached those milestones for the loss of Sharyl.
I am not to that point with the loss of Conner; I think I have made some progress but I struggle daily with acceptance and the pain certainly isn’t stable, and I hope it doesn’t stabilize at the present level.
I believe I will always miss Sharyl more, because we shared every detail of our lives for forty something years. The loneliness and remembering the “little things” are a part of my daily life, I don’t expect that to change and honestly I’m not sure I want it to. The loneliness could go but I believe the memories drive the loneliness and I want to hang on to the memories.
Emotional pain is difficult to understand and even harder to explain, but I expect that pain to forever be more severe for Conner, simply because of the youth and “what could have been”.
I love both you guys dearly and I miss you every day.
There is another kind of pain that is very much a part of the process. I think of it as secondary pain, it is the pains derived from seeing those I love grieve the loss of a son, mom, brother, Maw Maw, nephew or cousin. Sometimes I think this is the most difficult and complicated part of the entire process.
With God’s help, and your prayers, we will be OK, never the same but OK.
Good Night and God Bless.