According to the online version of Merriam-Webster dictionary the meaning of Grief is : deep sadness caused especially by someone's death, a cause of deep sadness, trouble or annoyance.
I am sure most of my readers know about my grief. I can say most days I handle it pretty well, but I still have the occasional day that it gets the best of me. It was during one of those days that I begin to think about my own personal grief journey and how it was totally different than anyone else I knew. I wasn't sure if this had to do with the amount of loss I have faced or just to the fact of how I took it. I begin to think about all the times in my life that I have experienced grief and how my grief experience was affected by what was lost. So, I decided to look a little deeper into the topic and I discovered something interesting about my experiences that I would like to share with you.
1. The loss of love:
I remember my very first real love. I was 18 years old and just beginning my life. I had been in college for about a year and had decided that the nursing field was not for me, so I dropped out and took some time off. I started dating a friend of my cousins and it was wonderful. He was sweet, loving and very good to me. We spent the next year always together. As I think about him now I can still see him sitting around the table with my family, he just seemed to fit in. Unfortunately we each wanted different things in life so we went our separate ways. I saw him a couple of years ago, the meeting was awkward and strange. I started wondering how my life would have been had we married and I know it would never have worked. We would have made each other miserable. I am grateful for the year we had and all the things it taught me.
2. The loss of a dream:
I have faced this a few times in my life. I can think back to my childhood and all those dreams I had for my future. I remember how I had dreamed of traveling and seeing the world. How I dreamed of finding my true love and living happily ever after. How I dreamed of three children running around calling me mommy. There were so many dreams. Some of them came true, some did not and some I am still hoping to see work out (I really would love to do that traveling). I can see that having dreams is important in our lives. They teach us not only to hope for our future, but also the truth that no matter how hard you try not all dreams come true.
3. The loss of my loved ones:
I have dealt with this a few times through the years. My first real experience with death was at the age of 12 when my Granny Sadie passed away. Even at 12 I still had trouble really dealing with and understanding things. Then my Uncle Wayne when I was 16. His death was very unexpected and hard to deal with. Then my Grandma passed when I was 24 and my Pa when I was 35. In the last four years I have lost my Uncle Lee, Aunt Gertie, Uncle Billy and Aunt Shirtey. It seems that the older I get the more people that I know pass away. My husband says it is because all the people I know are getting older and that makes sense. Still not everyone lives to be old, I can't help but think of my three little babies in Heaven. I wonder what that would have been like? What type of life they would have had? Those are questions that have no earthly answer, for they did not have an earthly life.
I have always been told that grief has 5 stages that we work through:
Looking at my own experiences, I can see these are stages I went through. Some were short,while others were long. I had times when I had moved into a new stage, only to back up again. I have to say for me the Depression stage was the longest, in fact, I still deal with it during certain times of the year.
Grief is a part of everyone's lives, no matter how we try to avoid it. No one should feel ashamed or embarrassed by it. If the tears start in the grocery store, mall or even at a family function it is ok. Remember you are the one going through this. Give your self the time that you need and be gentle with your self, acceptance does not happen overnight.
"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"