The thing about loss – an explanation

I feel like I want to give a disclaimer, an apology almost.  An explanation at the very least.

In the past few days I have had such an amazing increase of traffic on my blog, so many new readers and members of this community.  And I am so thankful for that!  So excited to see a new name added to the list of people who have read and appreciated what I have written.  Amazed every time someone reblogs a post of mine, and loving the chance to answer questions and read through your comments.

And I want to be looking through more of your blogs — I love the sense of community I have already found in some of my interactions with you all, and look forward to reading more of your blogs and interacting with you all more.

But, my grandfather passed away this weekend.  And it is throwing me off.  I was glad that I had already prepared a post to go up on Monday and Friday, and I have an idea for my Wednesday post (though I don’t think it will be  DP challenge will be what I post).  But I am not having the time and energy or focus to do all the things I would like to do as far as responding to all the comments, and interacting with you all.  Or finding my posts for future weeks (often inspired by things I have read in other posts).

Here’s the thing about grief and mourning.  I knew this, but I am having one of those moments where I am being reminded, strongly, of this reality.

There is no formula to figure out how a loss is going to affect you.  You can’t simply calculate that you knew the person “x” years, they had “y” relation to you, you got along “z” well, you last saw them “b,” they were “a” old, you live “h” far away, it was “d” expected, and figure out how hard you will be hit by their passing.

And you can’t know how you will handle the process of mourning.  Just because one death caused you to do this and that, doesn’t mean another will do the same.  Just because you acted one way when you were mourning some sort of loss, doesn’t mean that you will find yourself doing the same things when you face another.

And each and every person will face it differently.  Will find themselves able or unable to do things, will find themselves hyper-focusing, or unable to focus.  Each and every person will find different things trigger memories and emotions, and how they want to express those emotions will vary.

Yes, there are studies about stages of grief, there are ways that those providing care for the grieving can go about giving that care.  But largely that involves sitting and listening.  Being there with the person who is mourning, in whatever place they may be.  Not pushing them to be somewhere else, not holding expectations of how they should behave.  Simply being there.

And when you are one who is used to being in that care-giver role, used to being the one who is “being there,” (I don’t say “simply being there” because there is absolutely nothing simple about holding that role), it’s important to remember in times of your own grief and mourning that you are allowed those same accommodations.

You are allowed to not judge your own process, to not correct yourself about how much or less you should be feeling the impact of loss.  You are allowed to process in whatever way makes the most sense, even if it doesn’t make sense.  You are allowed to lift those expectations from your shoulders, to “just be” where you are, with your feelings and to not hold expectations of how you should be impacted.

And I’m am trying to do just that.  I am trying to allow myself to take the learning I have gained, as one who often is more often on the care-giving end, and give myself those same considerations.  I am trying to understand, but also just accept, how it is I need to “be” in this moment.  Even if it is not what I had expected, and comes swooping in at strange moments.

I am blessed, truly blessed, that I have an expansive family.  There is the blood-family, those I am genetically connected with, who provide me with much love and support, but many of whom are also going through their own process right now.  And then there is the friends-family, this group of people I have the fortune to have in my life who can be there for me as I process, as I sit, and as I try to find my way.  And for them, I am truly grateful.

And I promise, that while I am trying to take care of myself, to accept my process however it may come, that I will continue to work on posting here as I had planned.  I know that my focus will return, bit by bit.  What I don’t know is how long it will take (I’m hoping that somehow posting this will somehow help me get focused and keep going as planned).

I have my goals here that I want to keep to, I have plans that I want to follow through on.  And I will, but I just ask a little patience if I don’t seem to be responding, or if I fall a little behind in my updates.  This is an eclectic blog, yes, I will jump between what kind of things I address in my posts… but I don’t want it to be a depressing blog.  I’d rather take moments away than swamp this blog with mournful reflections and ramblings.

Grandpa telling me about the old magazines he had.
Grandpa sharing an old magazine with me.
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8 thoughts on “The thing about loss – an explanation”

  1. “You are allowed to not judge your own process, to not correct yourself about how much or less you should be feeling the impact of loss. You are allowed to process in whatever way makes the most sense, even if it doesn’t make sense. You are allowed to lift those expectations from your shoulders, to “just be” where you are, with your feelings and to not hold expectations of how you should be impacted.”

    That’s truly beautiful. Often we get angry at ourselves for not feeling “the way we should” and distress ourselves even more. I feel this relates not only to the loss of a being in your life but also other tragedies and afflictions.

    Thank you for this post. It was heartwarming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember one of the really amazing things I learned in Seminary was when we were exploring Grief and Loss. Reading CS Lewis’s, A Grief Observed, and talking about the things that we mourn. Realizing that the most obvious grieving process occurs when we lose a living being, but that we also need the time and space to mourn other losses, health, schools, friendships, expectations, senses of safety… the list goes on. And with each loss, the same holds true, we need to allow ourselves to be in our own processes, to not hold expectations of the way we “should be” handling the loss..
      It can be so very to keep remembering that.
      Thank you!

      Like

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