Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On the Nature of Grief

Have been dealing with a death in the family. That's why I've been so quiet lately. For something that everyone has to go through...that's a part of can be so difficult, even when you see it coming.

I learned a lot about grief several years ago when my maternal grandparents died within four months of each other. I was extraordinarily close to them. As difficult as it was to watch them start to fade away from this life, I was honored to be there with them and to try to be helpful to them and to the rest of my family.

Once again I am reminded that that is what life is truly about. It's not about the things. It's not about the titles. Although as we rush about our daily lives trying to fulfill our roles to get our things (at least stave off hunger and eviction!) it can seem like that's what it's about. No, it's about loving our family and our friends. About being of service. About trying to make someone smile, to make some difference in our little corner of the world. At least, that's what I believe.

But back to grief. It sneaks up on you. It zaps your energy and your mental acuity. You (I say "you" but this is my experience...) find yourself staring blankly into space and wondering just what it is that you were doing, or what it is that someone was just telling you.

One of the most interesting, and oddly useful bits of information (really? useful? Okay, maybe just interesting) I picked up on grief was something I learned from a pamphlet from a funeral home. Sighing is a recognized reaction to grief. There was something about how it helps you physiologically too (well, unless I made that part up..but I think it has something to do with getting more oxygen to your brain). But really--you sigh a lot.

A dear friend gave me a wonderful book on grieving. I'm sure there a lot of them out there. I don't have it right handy...will look the title up for you later, in case you're interested.

The minister at the service earlier this week talked about how losing someone dear to us seems particularly cruel this time of year. And it does seem that way. But we're trying to remember to be grateful for the life that we did get to share for however brief a time.

And especially this time of year, I cling to family and friends and try to tell them how much I love them. And remember that's what it's all about...all year long.


Lythrum said...

I agree that it does seem especially cruel to lose someone this time of year. It is supposed to be a happy and joyous time. I will keep you in my prayers.

Kat said...

Thank you so're a dear!