Yesterday, a woman at my work conveyed her concern (read: displeasure) for the manner a woman in her church was taking in the grieving process of the loss of her (12 year old) daughter. With the sudden death less than a year ago, the women’s FB wall is apparently plastered with posts as this women tries to move forward with her life. My colleague felt that this was okay in the initial period after the death — but perhaps not so much at this point in time. More specifically, her concern was in relation to the inequality of the posts for her surviving children. Her concernwhich I could not hold myself back from trying to minimize.
I attempted to point out that such social media posts never provide you with the whole picture. As I am sure many of you remember, I never shared the complete picture of my coping in the early days of my own grief journey; I shared an experience, or feeling, from the emotional soup of which I flailed about miserably in my attempt to stay afloat within. Perhaps the women is still sleeping with her youngest to help the child fall sleep, I suggested, insisting that there is no telling how this mother is with her other children in the privacy of their own home. I went as far as to say that perhaps her open display of grief was serving these children in a way no one else could appreciate; perhaps her example of letting her emotions out was serving as in invitation for her teenager to do the same with his peers.
Speaking from my own experience, I shared that grieving when you are taking care of your own grieving children is really tough. Early on, I learned that children need to process the loss in relation to where they are in their own development; they re-process the loss at every stage of development and it is important to support them as if the loss was brand new. I let her know about some great local programs for grieving children and parents of grieving children which might be a good resource to enhance the support that the church has been providing. I do believe that this type of support is critical. [Read more…]
March Madness has different meaning in my world. It’s a month of getting by: enduring the final days before Winter turns to Spring.
And although California Winters have not be as wet and cold as Winters else where, March holds a different kind of darkness for us.
The other day, YaYa reminded me that not only did his father die in March; my own father died in March too.
YaYa asked, “Isn’t this the month I always seem to get really sick in?” I replied, “Yes, it is. But let’s try to make this year different.”
It’s that time of year again — when sluggishness and sadness creep into the daily grind. I swear, I don’t bring this on myself. But I do respect it. That is, once I acknowledge it.
Fortunately, I suppose, it is not as blatantly obvious as it has been for the past 9 years. I may not be jumping out of bed any faster, but I am not under the covers sobbing anymore. At least not thus far. Nonetheless, there seems to always be an undercurrent of the loss. It is no longer the in-your-face memory of Tom’s final weeks of life that it once was. I guess time does heal the pain…eventually.
In past years, this is the time of year when YaYa tends to run himself down to the point where any sickness he has been hit with is easily able to take over. With pneumonia taking him out of school for a week’s time on three occasions, I am always nervous when he falls ill. As for BoBo, since he has not been with me until now, I am just beginning to see if he has the same tendency to fall ill during the transition towards the first day of Spring.
Well, BoBo has been fighting a cold for nearly two weeks now while YaYa stayed home from school on Monday and begged to stay home on Wednesday. As for me, I have found that although the days are getting longer, I have been excessively tired. Like I have observed in the boys, I have found myself shifting into overdrive this past week in an effort to override the exhaustion. As a result, I can now add being sick and sore to my tiredness.
*sigh* [Read more…]
I’m not sure how I was designated “the” person responsible for end of life arrangements: releasing the body from the medical examiner, signing for the disposition of Dad’s remains, coordinating the mass in his honor, and keeping the family informed. It’s too much and not enough all at the same time.
I keep plugging away, doing the tasks at hand as best I am able, delegating what I can, then answering to why the task was delegated. And for those who want to help but aren’t able to take on the things I have the foresight to think of, I am left trying to make them feel better.
Meanwhile, my own needs are set aside.
When I finally decided that I needed to put my needs in front of all of the responsibility that I have inherited, the world blew up in protest. As soon as I parked in front of the entrance to the park, my phone rang. It was my dad’s significant other conveying the urgent need for my drivers license and the letters from me and my siblings to be faxed to the medical examiner.
But that wasn’t the end of it. Before I’d hung up from her, another call arrived. By the time I hung up, three text messages arrived. In an attempt to ward off rebellion, I did my best to attend to these as quickly as I could. Then, I declared that I needed an hour of “me time.”