Grief Exposed

Last night I as I attempted to sleep thoughts of my journey played out in my head keeping me from a restful sleep. I said to myself – “you should get up and write” but I finally succumbed to the exhaustion and fell asleep. I don’t recall what it was specifically that I was dreaming about and that annoys me. I feel like at times I dream of things that have a message. But last night it was more like a restlessness that I cannot pinpoint. I cannot identify readily as this or that. It is just simply the restlessness that comes with grief.

I am coming into the dark days but it is a bit early just yet. I usually experience the dark days  beginning in September and it usually  lasts until the new year. With each year that has passed since my Brittany’s untimely death, I have called the days leading up to her death as the dark days. I have included the holidays for they have lost their luster for me. Can’t get that back. In fact, the meaning for many celebratory things have left me with a void that I cannot fill. I can only live in the moment and I cannot find the hutzpah to look into the future. Life for me is simply this….fill my day with busyness. Distractions work well.

Pondering on a past life that I longed for so long was ripped from me and in the wake of that,  I was not left with much to rebuild on. Not sure what the message is for me. I have resolved that I cannot figure it out and that I have to be ok with that. But haven’t quite got a grip on that yet. I still question “why me” a lot. I can look back over my life and say “why me” so many times that one might imagine any normal person would have gone berserk by now. I keep the faith that one day it will all become clear to me. Why so much has been taken from me. Why didn’t I get what they have. When I say “they”, I say all those who continue to enjoy their children, see them grow, graduate, marry and have children. My arms ache for the loss of so much. I cannot put it into words how profoundly empty that feels.

I hope that some day it will perhaps make more sense, but for now I am at a loss, my broken heart profoundly exposed and my sorrow spills over into a river of tears. I wrote today this which pretty much sums up my sorrow….

“Sometimes I just want to go back because going forwards means the distance between me and you fades and all I’m left with is the faint hint of who you were in my life.”

Until next time,

m

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Gethsemane’s Garden

Chapter 10 from Grieving Forward –  Embracing Life Beyond Loss by Susan Duke

One of my most favorite stories in the bible is the story of the Garden of Gethsemane. You might think that it is odd that one would like this story, but it has an uncanny parallel to how I felt and at times still do. My journey over the past five years since Brittany died has been the most tragic, sorrowful, painful but on the other hand, its been joyful, filled with gratitude and thankfulness.

The story of Jesus and his experience with his disciples during the last hours of his life resonated with me as it played on through the words of Matthew. The Garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus felt such sorrow and grief. Where he spent time with God reconciling his life and understanding the outcome that was before him. He also found out what loneliness is and how it comes with grief like a dark cloak that covers your body. It would seem as though you become invisible to those around you. That the grief you carry is only seen or felt by  you alone. 

Time after time, in the garden Jesus anguished to his Father and to his disciples. His disciples all but ignored him. Falling asleep even though Jesus had asked them to pray for him. When I wrote about the garden before it was from a different perspective. I saw the disciples and their disconnect from Jesus as a similarity to something I was experiencing early on after Brittany died. I felt as if I was grieving and my heart breaking and I felt so alone. I talked to God constantly and asked repeatedly why – why me – why her – why now. The silence was deafening.

But now as I have matured in my grief and I have come to understand it better and I have learned to give it the respect it demands. Duke speaks of the power of acceptance. Takes a long time to get there in my opinion. But I do believe with a strong faith and a great support network it is possible. My loss has so many different facets to it. The grief started when Brittany was first diagnosed with Epilepsy and Crohn’s Disease. You grieve the loss of having a child that is normal. You come to accept life will  be different. But when you lose a child suddenly with little warning – its unspeakable the damage it leaves behind. I can only compare it to the worst train wreck, or earthquake and the devastation it leaves behind. Nothing makes sense, life seems unreal and you can’t figure out what to do next.

It is and always will be my faith that carries me through this journey. And I say through, because you don’t ever, ever get over this. You just get through it. God gives me just enough to move forward every day and it is possible to see joy and love life again. It’s just missing a small piece – just enough to make it a little uncomfortable. That is where I am today. Feels uncomfortable and at some level broken; but through those tiny cracks is the ray of hope, faith and grace that God bestows on me each and every day. For that I am grateful.

Until next time

m

Bruised But Not Broken by Joss Stone

written by Diane Warren

Been a lot that I’ve been through
I cried a tear a time or two
Baby, you know I cried some over you, yeah
Had my heart kicked to the ground
Love ripped me up and tore me down, baby
But that ain’t enough to break
‘Cause I’ll rise above it
And I’ll pick myself up
And I’ll dust the pain off of my heart

And I’ll be alright
And I’ll love again
And the wounds will mend
I’m bruised but not broken
And the pain will fade
I’ll get back my feet
It’s not the end of me
My heart is still open
I’m bruised but not broken

Been a lot of tear strained nights
I thought the tears were here for life, baby
The hurt came on and held on tight, yeah
Took a chance, I took a fall
Love broke my heart and shattered all my dreams
But I won’t be down on my knees
‘Cause I’ll rise above it
And I’ll pick myself up
And I’ll shake the rain out of my heart

And I’ll be alright
And I’ll love again
And the wounds will mend
I’m bruised but not broken
And the pain fill fade
I’ll get back my feet
It’s not the end of me
My heart is still open
I’m bruised but not broken

Gonna pick my heart up
Take my life back
Shake the hurt away
Pull myself together, put the pieces back in place
See, I learned love’s so hard
Love left my soul scarred
I was shattered inside

And I’ll be alright
And I’ll love again
And the wounds will mend
I’m bruised but not broken
And the pain fill fade
I’ll get back my feet
It’s not the end of me
My heart is still open
I’m bruised but not broken

The words of this song is like my theme song. I first heard this song after Brittany died and the break up of someone I had in my life who couldn’t handle her death. These words couldn’t have explained my heart any better than my own. Though the video isn’t Joss’ best performance of the song – I love the genuineness of it as she is singing it for Diane who is in the audience.

Enjoy

M