Looking at Grief Intimately

Grief, loss, heartbreak makes me vulnerable. However, I did not know how vulnerable I was or possibly still am. What I believe in my heart is that its a risk I have to take to not let a a wall grow around my vulnerability. If I place a wall up around my vulnerability then I risk not allowing anything truly authentically positive in as well. I am now in this space of how do I stay vulnerable and authentic to me and the next person or should I put a safeguard fence up? When do I let this fence, wall down, if ever?

I wonder how much pain, heartbreak can one take? You get tired of hearing the phrase, "God will not give you more than you can handle?" You want to ask that person do you think you could handle this? Maybe they can, who am I to judge? If they can, that is beautiful for them. Yet I am not them or they are not me and it is not some kind of a competition. Grief is so complex and so personal with so many layers. I found my own way to find strength after the losses by going within me. I found my strength by finding stories that resonated with me. I found strength by questioning God day after day, praying, crying, meditating, resisting, through it all some answers came, many answers remain unanswered but with a hope that someday an answer will resonate.

I feel it is easy to say statements to others without truly having experiencing what the person has gone through. If I have such a hard time processing what I have gone through, how is it the next person who has not experienced what I have, how can they possibly understand? Now that I have been through a loss of a child, the loss of a spouse, I NOW am aware I would not have understood being in the other individual's shoes without my own personal experience. I battle so many statements that others say to me after the losses, i.e, after my first baby passed it was easy for every one to encourage me and say this time (my second child's birth) all will be well and yes though my daughter was born beautiful and healthy, my saving grace, her father, my husband passed 3 days earlier before her birth. Totally unexpected! Honestly, each time I do not remember having any doubts or fear that things would not go well. Even after my son was born, it did not occur to me that he would pass, not in today's world of technology. I prayed for his healing. After my loss I read so much about how our thoughts manifest and this brings confusion because I don't remember having a thought that my baby or my spouse would die. Why would I think that? I did not have that fear. If I had it somewhere subconsciously I am not aware.

Time after time I am told to be positive and others who have been close to me, who saw me on a daily basis after each passing, recognized my strength. After each loss, I did not have the luxury to just crawl under the blanket and mourn for days and months. After my son's birth and passing, I supported my husband's non-profit with its huge fund raiser breakfast which in turned supports many youth and their families for fitness programs. After the passing of my husband and the birth of my daughter I had to be strong for her. If I cried, she cried even more. Unaware to many and myself I stifled my mourning process. Looking back I feel this space is needed to breathe to heal. This is vital. We need to give the mourner strength but we also need to allow the tears to come when they come. We need to allow the anger to come through as long as there is no harm. The one supporting the mourner, embrace compassion and do not take anything personal and recognize that the grieving person needs this space in order to heal. As long as they are not harming themselves or another give them the space. Be a listening ear, give them a sincere hug. Bring them tissue.

Years later I was being told I had not dealt with my emotions. I was confused? On one hand I am being told to be strong and positive and now I was being told I had not dealt with my emotions?? Then that brought upon frustration and anger. Then I told myself fine, I will cry and I did just that for months I cried. Whether it be family, friends, strangers, work, clients, etc. I let the tears out. I had been afraid to go there all those years because I knew once I started it would feel never ending. I cried for months and I released a lot of stuck energy.

After the losses I finally opened up my vulnerable heart again only to be hurt once more. This hurt compounded all the other hurts and triggers went off in every direction. An internal 911 call was heard. I knew if I did not reach out to others that I could possibly have a mental, emotional break down. Yet I also know I AM conscious, I AM resilient. Yet I know so many get stuck in their grief, their pain, they do not know how to reach out, as well so many of us do not know how to reach in. Reaching out, I can see how that can seem as you are lowering your pride. I do not see it as a pride thing. Yet sometimes I feel others feel pride for me, even when I do not. I do not have a problem letting others see that I am vulnerable. I do not see that as being weak. I see that as strength. I perceive that many of us are afraid to be vulnerable, at times I am like that showing my strength, hiding my vulnerability and other times I am transparent to allow my vulnerability to breathe.

What has lifted me the most through my Grief is Compassion, is the non judgmental listening ear. The ear that lets you repeat over and over the same stories. The eyes that look at you in a way that understand your pain but know there are really no words that can be said. The arms that just embrace you and let you cry on their shoulder.

I have gone through my losses and I may process very differently than the next person who has their loss experience. Yet somewhere there is a connection. We both know that certain statements made by so many is not what we want to hear. What we need is just a sincere hug. What we need is a listening ear, even if we have to repeat ourselves over and over, we are just processing.

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