The Intricacies of ‘Grief’
She is an insightful, passionate, intriguing woman who brings much depth to any conversation I have had the opportunity to be in with her.
“I’ve been feeling so great lately that I was kind of blindsided by some feelings that came up. If you’ve ever attended an Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon (for friends and family of alcoholics or addicts) meeting, you’ll have heard it said, “Alcoholism is a cunning and baffling disease”. Well, I think this cunning and baffling phrase can be applied to grief as well.
As of this writing, my husband has been deceased for 2 years and 265 days. Although there is no doubt in mind that I loved him with all my heart and soul and that we were, if such a thing does indeed exist, soul-mates, I’ve been troubled recently by thoughts that maybe I didn’t love him enough. I don’t mean that if I’d have loved him more he wouldn’t have died. I know I don’t have that kind of power; I get that part. It’s just that the further and further he gets from me (and that’s what it feels like ever since he died, that he’s getting more and more distant in both time and space and I have this sense of wanting to claw back that time), the more I feel as though I could have appreciated him more and his love for me more. And that feeling brings on a tremendous sense of sadness and regret; not guilt as some might think, but real regret for time and opportunities that I no longer have to show and to express my love.
Now the ‘cunning and baffling’ part of all of this is that I know I loved him hard, passionately, and truly unconditionally and I have no doubt that he knew it. We both knew that we loved each other, faults and all, (and we did recognize many in each other; we just came, over time, to accept them as best as we could.) We spoke of our love to each other often, we tried hard to express it in our actions, and we came to understand that if we faced things together we could overcome many obstacles in our relationship.
And yet I still feel the need to express my love and to somehow know that he still knows that I feel it. Of course, now that isn’t possible. So, how to make these feelings go away? I really don’t have a clue and I’m pretty sure they never will entirely go away.
However, here’s what I do know. I’ve been blessed with very many caring family members and friends, and reaching out to them, talking about my feelings, and trying to find my path through this grief with their support is extremely helpful. Sharing them doesn’t make the feelings go away; I understand nothing can really do that, but it does make them more bearable somehow, and I always come away feeling a little less helpless and sad, a little less desperate for my need to feel reassured. I make myself ignore and get past the feeling that they’re tired of hearing me talk about my grief. I say to myself, out loud, “These people love me; they want to try to help me. After all, I know how much I want to help the people I love, so why would I not believe the same of them? “
I spoke with two of my cousins this morning and although I know that these feelings may still invade my sense of peace from time to time, I now feel considerably better. Working through this grief has really helped me to recognize and be able to access this network of love and support. I cherish it and I promise myself, here and now, that I will never, ever take it for granted.”
Life Coaching with Ruth
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