It's been awhile but I wanted to touch on something call "Grief Bursts".
A Grief Burst can come out of no where and it can feel like you are right back in the middle of that fresh, raw pain. Normally they are fairly short in duration, a few minutes or hours. But the effects can last a few days or weeks as we are reminded of that intense pain.
They can be triggered by an event, thought, picture or nothing at all.
This is where that life preserver comes in handy. No matter how many years have passed the grief will always be in you, and occasionally it may burst forward. It is ok. It will recede and you will continue to live and heal.
As we get our daughter ready for the first day of school, she's going into grade two, I can't help but think of our son and how he'd be starting kindergarten. The picture of the two of my babies going off to school is so painful. Would he be the one helping her to her classroom, instead of a neighbour's son? Would they be holding hands or pretending not to know each other?
This is one of the times when the grief wells up and feels so fresh and raw, I could scream until I have no voice left. A grief burst is the technical term.
Instead I sit here sharing this feeling while Little Bit eats an apple, putting off having a shower until the last possible minute.
Even knowing all I do I can be so shocked at the power and physicality of my emotions, five years after burying Everette. My heart actually hurts, and I want to do nothing but curl up and cry.
But like so many moms out there I don't have the time right now so I must breath deep and put a pretend smile on my face until my beautiful little girl is asleep and then I can let it all out, but by then I will have built another dam around my grief, and won't be able to relax enough to let the waves crash over the dam.
Tomorrow I will wave my little girl off on the bus and smile for her. Because that is what mom's do, and she is all I have left.
One of the biggest obstacles my husband and I faced after losing our son was dealing with our very different styles of grieving. It is easy to think the other isn't grieving "properly" because they do it in a manner that is different from yours. While you can generalize that men and women grieve in very different manners it doesn't always fall into easy categories. Some people need to do, while others need to sit and be with their grief. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Whatever style serves the purpose of allowing you to work through the loss, sadness, memories and eventual continuation of life is the "right" way.
I've decided to add a page that deals with grief, both my own and some academic work on grief that I have come across in my studies, before the chronic issues forced me to stop.
Why now? Well mostly because this is the 5 year anniversary of my son's death (Aug 12th) and I think I'm in a place with that where I can share and not have it have a real negative impact on me and my family.
How to start? That is always a problem with anything new so I figure I'll share the one truth I have come to know.
Grief is like an ocean at first. It is easy to drown, become lost and adrift in it. Over time the grief will become a river, mighty and flowing but navigable. Eventually it will become a stream, part of you but still able to spill over the banks and flood. It will recede again. Always have a lifejacket near by.