Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Laughing Again

I was reading through Bonnie's blog (http://sweetcarolinebaby.blogspot.com) the other day and found she had stumbled upon something hugely important, happiness. The times when I am genuinely happy aren't quite as often as I would like them to be and to top that off when one of these glimpses of happiness arises, guilt sets in. It seems to be a struggle that most grievers face; the guilt of laughing again. I found a quote in I wasn't ready to say Goodbye that I wanted to share,

"At times, it's hard to laugh - we feel guilty for "going on." We wonder if our laughing makes our grief less real - if our memories will fade - if people will think we don't miss the deceased.

If only there were rules to grief, how much easier it would be. Laughter and happiness can become haunting. How should we look? How should we act? If we look like we are having fun, what might people think? Is it okay to just forget for a while - to try and escape what has happened?

The answers are all within your heart. There is nothing you need to do, or act like, for the sake of others. Don't worry about how anyone perceives you. It's alright to escape for a while, to watch a comedy - to laugh. Remember, the person who has passed on is one who would wish you nothing but the best. Your laughter becomes their laughter as well."

So often I feel like the man in the picture, wearing a mask for the world to see. A mask that shows that I'm happy again, laughing once more but inside there is a struggle. Is it right for me to laugh, is it too soon? I think it might be time. Time to stop hating life and start enjoying it, time to stop feeling guilty and start feeling free, time to cry less and to start laughing again. And if you aren't there yet, that's okay. I'm not sure I'm there yet either but I'm hopeful that someday I will be there.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Birds of Sorrow

"You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair." ~ Chinese Proverb

Harriet Sarnoff Schiff said, "Unless we are suicidal, we have no alternative." So here we are, with a choice. No, not the choice to live or take our own life, but the choice wether we live or just exist.

When we loss someone who means so much to us we find it hard to find the motivation to keep living. So many of us choose to opt out and begin just existing. There are so people out there who have choose this lifestyle of barely getting by. They eat, sleep, go to work, and functioning but inside they're hollow. So often I feel I wake up and exist; I want to live.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Invisible Blanket

"There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would take to one another and not to me." ~ C. S. Lewis

"Grief sometimes changes a person's lifestyle and personality. Pain becomes overwhelming. There is a feeling of dejection, a loss of interest, and inhibition of activities, panic, hostility toward one's self, and other signs of low self-esteem."

"Our society conditions is to be quiet in the face of death. Doctors and nurses often so not talk about it. Death is made to seem like something which we should be ashamed. Self-esteem is lost. We are hurt. And "maybe I'm to blame."

"Immediately after the funeral, a grieving person often withdraws to himself. He may not go to work. He may not go to church. He usually avoids social activities. "No, no, no. I don't want to go. I'm not interested! I just don't have any purpose in life any more. I don't feel like getting up in the morning. I don't feel like cooking. There's no one to cook for. What's the use." ~ Bill Flatt

As I go back and look through these books I find myself wanting to be better but continually coming up short. I want to place myself in one these stages of grief so I can know how I am progressing or regressing for that matter is concerned. But I can't. I don't know where to start. I feel though six months later I should see some progress to finding this new norm of mine but I'm not sure that I am. I know I can pretend like I am when I need to. Maybe that's what its all about, I really don't think it is. You see these people who lost loved ones long before I was ever born and you hear the stories you should have have seen them before... I coming to think that this new norm may not be what I am hoping for.

Bill Flatt in his book
Growing through Grief had this to offer, "If you are at a low point now, hang on. You cannot go any lower when you hit bottom. And time may help you a great deal. Depression tends to go in cycles. God has given you additional life; He wants you to use it. There will be plenty of time to die "when your time comes.""

"Think of it this way: If you had died before your loved one, how would you want your loved ones to react? You would want them to Express sorrow at the loss, to respect and appreciate your memory, and then to go on with their lives. That's what I want you to do. As one widower in one of our groups said, "I suddenly realized that I have some more leaves in my book to write." And you do, too. It takes strength and courage to write them, but you can do it. And you will be glad you did."

I'm hanging on but not by much. I smile but I'm not sure what for. I laugh but its out politeness. I pray that I'll never see the bottom again but life shows no favoritism. And if this is depression I hope its more like chicken pox than cancer. I hope that you go through it once and then are immune to it opposed to being something that I will struggle with the rest of my life. But what I want more than anything is just the capability to live life once again. I know life will never be the same and I am prepared to handle that. But like in that first quote I want to know how to remove this blanket that lies in between me and the rest of the world.