21 September 2008

The truth sucks

I had a rough weekend. Even 16 months after my sister died, I sometimes have days where I miss her so much that I have to have a good hard cry, my heart all twisted up like a wrung-out towel.

It's not one of those things that is easy to tell people. They start to worry about your sanity and to suggest pharmaceutical help.

"But I don't want drugs," I'd like to say. "I just need the resurrection of my sister!"

I spent Saturday afternoon at the Amnesty International write-a-thon, writing a dozen letters on behalf of people imprisoned for the non-violent expression of their basic human rights.

I wrote to Presidents and Ministers of Security about people who had been thrown in jail for speaking their minds, for protesting societal ills, for being related to the wrong person.

As I wrote, I thought about how lucky I had it, living the cush life here in the United States. I thought about how I should count my blessings and be happy.

Then I came home and sobbed again for another few hours. Grief is SO unreasonable.

I'm not looking for sympathy. It doesn't do any good, anyway, much as I hate to say it. I thought about not writing this post, but I decided every time that I think I really shouldn't write a post and then I write it, it turns out I'm really glad I did because someone out there really needs to hear it.

Grief feels like a not-fun rollercoaster. Somehow we end up on the ride and as soon as we get on, we aren't in control of where it goes. We just have to hang on as best we can until it's over.

21 comments:

Laurie Stewart said...

Wow I think that is a great post for exactly the reason you said - someone needs to hear it. I don't think we as a society share enough about what it feels like to lose a loved one and as a result people don't know what to say or how to react when someone does share. I'm really sorry for your loss.

jenB said...

and not to be all wet towel, but grief never really goes away. time makes it easier, but it is always there. it may change its form, you may not cry as often or for as long. but sometimes, for me, even years and years later, it can feel like just the other day you lost that person. this was a good post. i hate people expecting you to be "over it" like lets say, after a year or something. it doesn't work that way.

i understand, and am sympathetic.

xo

Mir said...

Grief's a bitch, plain and simple.

I hope you're feeling better today, sweetie.

Amy Nathan said...

Death, at times, may be reasonable and understandable. Grief is not.

You're right to let it take control now and again, fighting it is useless. And while I think it never goes away, it does lessen in intensity and frequency.

QT said...

There is no timetable for grief. In fact, re-appearances will be a regular occurrence.

I'm glad you wrote this. I think I would definitely be the same way if I were in your shoes.

SUEB0B said...

I love you guys.

Anonymous said...

I read you blog but have never commented. I am today, though, because I needed to read what you wrote. It's been 14 months since my mom passed away, and I cry almost every day. But I hide my grief from my friends because it's been 14 months . . . shouldn't I be over it? Thanks for sharing your pain and helping me feel I'm not mentally unstable.

Anonymous said...

I read a passage this morning that struck me as profound. You know, one person's profound is another person's duh, but that being said: "Forget the why, there is no why. It doesn't matter. It doesn't help. It's done, and it can't be undone." (The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve). I struggle with grief, with depression, with unresolved issues, and now I am going to take a wrecking bar to an old shed that needs to come down. Work hard, cry hard, keep moving as we are able. Grandma Bob

nonlineargirl said...

I'm glad you wrote this, because such emotions are not reasonable, or subject to rational analysis. It is just how you feel. Sixteen months is not a long time for the loss of a loved one. Sixteen years, either.

Jessica said...

One of the best things my therapist ever said to me was, "You'll be done when you're done." And that can be applied to any loss. And I've found it's absolutely true - may not be when you want it, but somehow just remembering that made it easier to "be" with whatever my issue was at that moment.

I hope tomorrow is easier.

Kizz said...

I was thinking about this today a lot, too. My grandmother died a couple of weeks ago. I miss her like ... well like nothing I can actually describe. I have friends in from out of town this week and we are having a glorious time and laughing and talking and it's so nice. Today I came to work and they are out and about being away from them for even a short time all that lift from the laughter seems to have made that much more room for tears. I'm so sad today, crying on the train to work and in the bathroom just now. It's exactly what they tell you about writing sad things, make them laugh first then it'll be easier to make them cry later.

I'm sorry about your sister. Still.

MsLittlePea said...

Oh I'm so sorry. Loss has no "healing" time table honey. I keep having all these dreams about my beloved and long gone grandparents. In my dreams I am always sobbing uncontrollably and clinging to them as if I am still a little girl, like I want them to stay here with me and not go back to where ever they went because I feel so very far away from them since they left this Earth. I spoke about it with my neighbor,who is a retired nun and also happened to be a psychotherapist. She told me that there are some losses in life that you just never get over. Ever. And there's nothing wrong with it. Your grief means that you weren't 'done' loving them, and what could possibly be wrong with that? She said sometimes we hang on to that heavy grief because we sometimes think it keeps our loved one close to us. And we can sometimes convince ourselves that letting go means we've moved on without that person and how could the world possibly keep spinning without our loved one? You may get to a point where you won't have those 'feel like it happened just yesterday' kind of days, but it never means that you're over it or you've let go of her. It just means that you've let go of your grief. But it will happen on YOUR time. There's no textbook rule that needs to be followed here.

So there's nothing wrong with 'feeling it' and there's no such thing as 'over it', Suebob.

Whoever suggests that you would need pharmaceutical help for a loss you still feel so deeply, even in concern for you, would be encouraging you to numb something that can't possibly be numbed....

I imagine your sister misses you just as much and is cheering for you from where ever she is.

Deb on the Rocks said...

sending love love love way out west, whereever the hell you live out there!

Angella said...

Oh, sweetie. I have not known grief like yours, and cannot imagine how you feel.

Thanks for sharing, as there will be people who really do need to hear this.

Chantel said...

crying helps, other than that its all we can do to let it out.

Project Christopher said...

Grief is hard. I'm coming up on 3 years since my mom passed (Oct 15) and I still have trouble with it. I've learned to make the down times therapeutic though. A good cry can be cathartic and I've associated that empty sleepy feeling I have after one as a good thing and equate it with my mom letting me know she's still here and it will be OK.
Like Anelle in Steel Magnolias, it may be simple and I may be stupid, but it's how I get through times like this....

Issas Crazy World said...

I understand. I spent a week in bed because of grief. I also know nothing anyone says really helps. But hugs to you.

And good for you for going out in the world when you felt awful. Truly that's the hardest thing.

Traceytreasure said...

Grief is like a roller coaster. I've lost too many loved ones in the last few years and I still miss them lots.

My MIL and my best friend in the whole world are gone. My best friend was a friend of my hubby's family and she was like a grandma to our kids. I miss her so much some days that it hurts.

I wish you happier days ahead!! Your sister was lucky to have such a wonderful sister too.

Hugs!!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Thanks for this. Yes, I do feel like somewhat of a freak when i break down crying, and I said outloud today (when no one was here), "Mom, I'm TIRED OF YOU BEING DEAD NOW."

Didn't help, but I said it anyway.

Sister Wolf said...

I'm so sorry,my dear Suebob. I understand.

Elena said...

There are no "shoulds", certainly not with grief. My bestest friend died almost 5 years ago, and although he is still with me, it still sucks. Be patient and kind to yourself. Lots of us understand and feel for you.

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