Good Grief

I’ve experienced my share of loss. Most of a certain age have, and some not of such an age. It is an inevitable part of life.

I’ve mourned the loss of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends much too soon, neighbors, and four-legged buddies too.

Grief is a process. It’s as important a process as learning to walk or speak. It’s something we all must do in stages…there is no other way. We can deny it, run from it, gloss over it, or ignore it…makes no difference to grief.  It says…

“Deal with me now or deal with me later…face me today or sit back and let me take over your life…I can and will, offer you the tools but you have to choose how or if to use them. For if you leave it to me, I’ll build walls with no windows and doorways to nowhere.  I’ve got your heart in my hands and I can keep it in the dark and squeeze the life out of it.  Or, you can help me release it back into the light.  The choice is yours.”

Mourning has a natural path it must follow; a beginning, a middle, and in time, an end.  We must allow ourselves to follow it to its natural end. And I say natural because we are all different. We didn’t all learn to walk and talk at the same point in our lives. We each learn as and when we are meant to.  With help or without…we have but one choice if we are to become who we are meant to be. I don’t believe anyone is meant to be broken by grief. It’s a choice. A sad one, but still a choice.

In the past several months, I’ve been one of those denying, running, glossing over, ignoring souls.  And not from the grief of losing ones I loved to dying.  No.  For me, that is the allowed grief, the necessary grief, the natural mourning after saying goodbye to their souls grief.

No, it’s the mourning the loss of life that still breathes; the blood’s still flowing but the heart’s not beating, life; the everyday life staring back at me in that shattered mirror life that I had to choose to either pour a new foundation, pick up the hammer, and start building a new frame for; or choose to let grief build me and my tender heart into box kind of grief that I ran from.

I didn’t understand. No one had died. Neither of us was ill. Grief? Mourning? I just didn’t get it.

Then.

Now I do.

I woke to a poem today.

Not a morning poem, but a mourning poem.

A poem of love lost, dreams gone, futures altered:

I close my eyes, see a life once shared
I close my eyes, sweet memories there
I close my eyes, our future’s gone
as is the past
Eyes now open and shed of tears
No longer sorrow, pain, and fear
Open eyes to a new journey
Toward lives of love for you and for me
My open eyes see friendship strong
and will ever last
Our years of love and care mean wishing
That each will find what we were missing
But one things sure and I hope you do see
You’re my best friend and always will be

This poem woke my giant who was not only sleeping but hiding under the Hoover Dam.  It helped me acknowledge my need to mourn the loss of a once treasured and thought unbreakable bond of a decades long marriage.  I was lost in sadness; mired in a self-pity; feeling guilty for wanting more; needing more; yet never admitting I needed to grieve what was gone, mourn that loss of the life we’d made and shared.

Yet, in those few words of a sleepless night’s reflection and melancholy remembrance of a life’s love shattered, there was hope.  For each other. To find love and true happiness.  For building a stronger bond of friendship beyond those days of “I don’t anymore” on through to these days of “I do and always will, and cannot imagine a life without you in it, somehow.”

To Hugh.  The man I grew up with, fell in love with, married, bore children to, and said goodbye to as my husband…I say this:

the past does visit still when sleeping
the day will come for no more weeping
but, this mourning must travel its natural path
this grief we share of days gone past
of love and life and joys and sorrows
for lost dreams, hopes, tomorrows
and in its wake, will dawn a new day
together and separate we’ll each find our way
to fulfilled lives complete with laughter
to each grab hold of what we’re after
but this remains a constant truth…
life would not
could not
be…
without you, my best friend

Thank You.  For helping me see what I would not.

Grief.

For pulling me out of hiding.

To Grieve.

For knowing I needed to.

Grieve.

And for loving me enough to say it.

Grief.

Good Grief.

23 thoughts on “Good Grief

  1. Oh Rhonda – What a fantastically raw and honest tribute to the strange beauty that can come out of grief. Your post makes me realize that instead of resisting my own grief, I need to sort of embrace it for a time. Thankyou for this gift of a post. Juliexxx

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    • Jules you know me pretty well. I can be kind of a straight shooting sarcastic cuss….but yes my beloved friend…you must travel this road sooner rather than later, for yourself. And Ming too. You know this already, I know you do…it’s more a matter of picking up the hammer…it’s a heavy bitch, but you can and will do it. I know you will and have complete faith in you.xoxo

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  2. As I clicked “like” on your post to let you know “I was here”….I thought to myself….but I don’t really like this. I don’t like what my friend has been through, is going through….the pain….the starting over…..the steps….the grief. But as you say…it is a journey, different for each of us. I don’t like…..I “love”. I love your brutal honesty, your spring in your step, your ability to continue to look within, your creative way of expressing your heart…..you are strong and make each of us reading this stronger. Hugs, my friend. ♥ so proud of you ♥

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    • Your words tend to make my plumbing go to hell Paula…but in a good way. I thank you, sincerely, for knowing how hard and necessary this is…and for seeing it for what it is. I am lucky in my circle of friends who surround me with love and support. it’s made ALL the difference…xoxo

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  3. Here is WW in all of her magnificent glory…I know what it took for you to get to this place and more importantly – to share it with all of those who love you and eagerly anticipate your posts. (somehow this dialogue keeps echoing “Be honest Rhonda…It doesn’t always have to be funny”….”I know…”). Your writing is gorgeous, your ability to define this transition as one that needs to be mourned – so true. It is a testament to you both that you are determined to salvage your friendship – and I’m sure you will. And that doesn’t negate or diminish this process – this grieving with no timelines, no landmarks – uncharted waters. You will land on a beautiful shore sweetie – I know this..xoxo

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    • You continue to know just what to say and how to say it Mimi. It’s that beautiful shore in the distance I’m striving for…can see it…will get there. I know this too…xoxo

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    • not morbid at all, it’s not an easy subject but I think I had to start seeing it for what it was. I only hope it helps others like me. thanks tink…as always..xo

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  4. Pingback: “As the Shade Pulls” A tra-com-edy of dysfunction and disillusion | 50 Shades of Gray Hair

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