Confessions of a Grieving Mother Blog)Saturday, April 10, 2010
Silence was not the answer during this time of grief. The first devastating reality was that Heather died. The second devastating reality was the way friends avoided and ignored Heather, her death and the mention of her name. Death was and is very scary or even unreal. Possibly a few could envision themselves in my position. That thought brought most parents to tears. In a word most people did not know how to react to my feelings or me.
We were speeding towards the 1st year anniversary and most everyone expected me to “be done with” that grieving thing for Heather. A year was long enough, wasn’t it??? I had survived the 1st everything without Heather and Sherry should be her old self again. I was not my old self and I never would be again. I noticed that when I mentioned Heather’s name people got very quiet and tried to change the subject. I still needed to be able to remember Heather reflectively, without self-consciousness or shame. No one understood that waves of grief, anger and depression that affected me in ways I myself did not even understand.
Grief was a normal, natural and painful emotional reaction to loss. Grief was supposed to be painful and it was supposed to be emotional. When Heather died, she left my relationship with her unfinished. All my hopes, dreams and expectations of our life together, her husband and children, and all the days and years to come were abruptly ended and without my permission. This went against the natural order of things. It was just not supposed to happen this way.
My grief was now settled into a long depression that was a very necessary step to healing. Listening-not avoiding the sadness was what I needed. As I shared my stories and feeling I might begin to cry and if I did consider yourself lucky that I was comfortable enough to share these deep emotions with you. Do not try to stop the tears since these were also a step towards healing and must be allowed to flow freely.
I needed time alone, and time with others, others that I trusted and who would listen to me when I talked. This was not an illness that could be fixed with chicken soup and a week in bed. This was something that would take years to get to a place that I felt I could function normally. Remember, normal was only a setting on the dryer. A very wise man who’s wife died told me “you can always get another wife—you cannot get another daughter.” I found this statement truer every day.