Grief, need, and sabotage

Thursday, July 3, 2014
In the last month or two, I've been doing some reading on the subject of grief. How to manage it, how to ask for the help you need when going through it, and how to accept the truth of fundamental loss and come out the other side if not whole, then at least not bitter.

During my reading, I've discovered a few things about myself, my grief related to Moe's death, and how outside influences have affected me.

What I have to be grateful for:


1. When it comes to the Circle of Grief, I've been extremely fortunate. For the most part, everyone in my circles have followed the rule of "comfort in, dump out."

2. The knowledge that grief is not a contest. I have no way of knowing others burdens and how much pain they're in.

3. Not a single person has been obtuse enough to tell me Moe "is in a better place" now or some other rage-inducing  platitude. For this I'm grateful, because if someone had, I'm quite sure I would have lost my shit.

4. One of the immediate effects of Moe's death was that I no longer give a shit about old disappointments or angers. When every day contains a "grief challenge," I just don't have the energy or the inclination to give someone else free rent in my head. So I have moved from "free rent" to "whatever."

Things I've learned:


1. When people insinuate that my grief management is not progressing on the schedule they'd prefer, I am utterly, completely justified in saying "fuck off." No one gets to tell me when and how my grief should be managed. I have no obligation whatsoever to "get over it" because my grief makes someone else feel uncomfortable. Unsupportive people can feel free to remove themselves from the situation, i.e., my life.

2. The ways in which I choose to manage my grief may make some people uncomfortable. And that's okay.

3. I still have obligations to the people I care about. But it's okay to put myself and my emotional health first for a while. I've found that most people are giving me the space and grace I need, which touches me more than I can say. Others...have not. And that teaches me something, as well.  

4. Prior to my daughter's death, she was really, really suffering. She had been contemplating suicide for months, but didn't want to go through with it because it "would make Mom and Poppa and Linda cry." She held out as long as she could, until she couldn't.

What I'm still working on:


1. My brain and my moods are still a mess. I'm under my doctor's care, but most days the most I can manage effectively is doing a decent job at work. The rest is hit and miss at best. I know this is annoying to those around me, and I'm sorry for that. But I can't help it, and I'm doing the best I can.

2. I'm still not really ready to go through Moe's things. We're going to be moving Moe's furniture Saturday, and the Smart Man had to call the Smart Friend to come help, as I am unsure I can accomplish even that much. And the reason is that I just don't want to. The prospect of dealing with her things just fills me with dread and despair. The sabotage comes in when my bitchy inside voice says I should be able to do this work by now. But I'm not, and that's the truth.

3. I'm having a hard time caring one jot about the latest political shenanigans, both foreign and domestic. It might be fair to say part of this is politics fatigue, but I think the fact of the matter is that I simply don't have the emotional energy to care much about the latest iterations of who's behaving badly.

It's a journey, no doubt. I'm approaching the last "first" since Moe's death (the first anniversary of her suicide), and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't dreading it. But the longer I move forward, the better off I'm going to be.

Move forward, Janiece, towards the light. 

14 comments:

Anne C. said...

<3 <3 <3 And we are here beside you in the dark for as long as you need us <3 <3 <3

Carol Elaine said...

As ever, dear Janiece, endless love and hugs and support.

Grief has no timetable. Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot. It took over 30 years before the anniversary of my sister's death wasn't the first thing on my mind when I woke up every April 30th.

I know you, Janiece. I know that you are doing all that you can to work through the grief of Moe's death, but I am glad that you know that it's not something that can be rushed. Trying to rush through the grieving process because, "Dammit, things should be better by now!" will only come back to bite you on the ass. Alas, I know this all too well from personal experience.

And if anyone dares to pull the "In a better place," BS on you, or says you shouldn't be so sad now, let me know. I have a crowbar with their knee's name on it.

David said...

Hugs.

Kimby Wilson said...

Big hugs my friend. If you ever find you can't tell those who need it to fuck off, let me know. I have gotten REALLY good at it over the last few years.

mom in northern said...

Ditto all…move toward "your” own light… and I will move toward mine.
Love you my baby girl…

vince said...

You do what you need to do in the way you need to do it. Huge hugs to you.

The Mechanicky Gal said...

If the light seems to be bouncing, that's me running (ok, mincing) towards you. I won't drop the light.

Janiece said...

<3

Random Michelle K said...

I love you.

Megan said...

<3

Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

I completely feel for your reluctance to go through Moe's things. When Wendy died, I had only a few days to clear out her apartment. That she had many many friends who helped was the only way it could be done. The time constraint meant that like ripping a bandage off a fresh scab, it had to he done fast. The lack of time meant some things were lost. I envy that you have the time, yet cry at the size of your task. In your own time, then. In your own time.

Dr. Phil

Janiece said...

Dr Phil, We were really, really lucky to have the help of family and friends to do the initial move. They just packed up everything and put it in storage until I felt able to go through it. The furniture is the least personal of what's in storage, so we're starting with that.

Phiala said...

Much love, my friend.

My philosophy of life is that you do the best you can with what you've got. Sometimes you don't have much, if anything, and that's okay because you can't change it. Just do what you can, screw the rest, ignore what anyone else thinks you should be doing, because they don't know what you're working with (with allowances for people to whom you have mutual obligations, of course). It works for me.

Beatrice Desper said...

You are so wise and strong. Keep putting one foot forward as you have been. "Courage". Beatrice