The Roller Coaster

I went from being angry to feeling better and even feeling happy. Then the next day, I woke up crying. I managed to get through the workday, grateful that it was a day I worked from home. But by the end of the day, I was exhausted. An hour-nap later, I woke up refreshed like my body had been crying all day and finally released it.

I keep hearing about how this kind of disjointed existence is normal for grief. You know, I’m beginning to detest the word normal.

Then I watched the TED Talk, We don’t “move on” from grief. We move forward with it.

I understand completely what she’s talking about people not wanting you to get your sad on them. My local family didn’t have much to do with me before. Now, I might as well be a one-woman leper colony. Shortly after my loss, when I was still deep in shock, one of them dropped off a couple of popsicles on a hot day to make me feel better. It wasn’t helpful. Yet somehow, I now find humor in it. What? Just two popsicles? You couldn’t leave the whole box? Or how about popsicles with vodka in them? There’s an idea. At least those would be useful for a while.

Especially in our youth-obsessed society, people do not know how to face death. I use the term face very deliberately instead of saying cope with. I’m coming to detest the word cope too. Coping reduces it to a problem to be solved – a temporary life event that we just have to get through. That’s not the nature of it at all.

It’s not a life event; it’s a life overhaul. Nothing is ever the same again except the love we shared remains. We don’t stop feeling it. We don’t stop having a relationship with them. They’re not erased; they’re still here. We still feel that love, yet they’re no longer here for us to call them on the phone or hug them.

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