Sunday, December 5, 2010

Grieving Is Never Orderly.....

Sometimes I look at my blog and want to write a post but then with this season of my life I think that it seems I either write a string of downers or I pendulum to extremes with highs and lows. I look into my imaginary mirror and think, "Why write then? Who would feel encouraged by reading inconsistencies such as yours?"

That small voice answers, "Who would? Anyone who admits to being human and real would. Just tell the truth and it will make a difference."
So this is me being transparent, not only to sort through my own thoughts but also with hopes of helping others.

I have now been home from Texas for 3 weeks. Looking at that sentence right now feels like a shock as I have gone through my days without equating a real time line to anything until this very moment.

As I have said before, I really have been pretty fine. It is so good to be home. I missed the rain, the trees, cold weather, mountains and most of all my family and friends. But somewhere in the recesses of my mind I have had this gnawing thought chip away at me that I am too fine. I have edged out into doing some activities and social events and truly had a good time doing them. But still.....

Saturday morning I woke and felt like I didn't even want to get out of bed. The girls had their social events planned and I had a day of errands and cooking to accomplish on a deadline. There were things to do and though check lists normally drive me, I had no desire to do anything. Desire or not, things had to be done. So I methodically switched into auto-pilot and check marked off my day. By mid afternoon I felt like I had hit a wall and had to pull the car over to make the world stop spinning.

As I sat there absently watching cars go by, I questioned my fragile state and begged God for answers. I saw the pages of a calendar float by in my mind with different dates check marked and circled. I realized that even before I flew to Texas, my heart with already with my daddy and essentially I have lived this past year physically and mentally in 2 very different places. In one place I was mother, wife, teacher, administrator and organizer. In the other I was daughter and care giver. Both situations were as diverse as the climate and region I resided in.

I have spent the last few weeks with it being relatively easy to block off certain feelings because I am in such a different location. It feels like being with Daddy was a lifetime ago. When I have answered that I am fine to peoples' questions, I wasn't lying. I really was fine. So why is it hard now? It is hard because I need to remember that it hasn't been a long time like my mind wants to quarantine it into being.

I find that really; I do but I don't want to talk about it with most experience, my daddy, my feelings. I do but I don't want to know how they understand and relate because they lost their parents too. I do and don't want to share because their hurt can't possibly be like my hurt. I know that is not true but it is my first thought all the same.

I know all the truths; that Daddy is in heaven, that he is happy and healthy, that he has no pain and walks with no limp, that he has no confusion, that others comment to being jealous of where he is, that he is in the amazing presence of God and one day I will be there with him. I know all these things and believe it all emphatically. But I don't find it comforting for anyone to tell me those things. I find it only makes my own feels feel squashed and non-valid.

And yet, I have a friend who lost her dad just a few weeks before me and I look forward to talking with her about our dads. Even when I really am fine, her hugs are a welcome relief that I don't want to let go of because there is nothing attached to them but a kindred connection that comes from raw experience. There is safety and comfort in that.

I don't mean to sound that anyone else has less compassion or wrong compassion or fake compassion. It is just hard to have to talk about the same thing over and over again. And yet....if no one asked and expected me to simply move on then that would hurt too wouldn't it?

There is no easy way around it.
4 short weeks ago I was in Texas dealing with hospice's crisis care team moving in as I called family members and watched Daddy struggle through his last days. No matter what truths I know in my heart, mind and spirit; the truth is that I am raw and tired.
It is going to take time for me to balance out and feel real.
In time I will not have to remind myself to get through a day.
In time home will really feel like home with no tentacles spread out in different directions.
In time...


  1. I am so sorry for your loss, but knowing God does help. I have enjoyed getting to know you...well sort of, through your blogs. Drop into my world for a view. It's not so different.
    Anyway, I'm Becky. I live in Yelm, Wa outside of Olympia. Nice to meet you.

  2. Jules, I know I haven't been around your blog much in a very long time, because I've been dealing with twenty months of grieving my daughter. Before that, it was my mom, my grandmother, my father, and my young cousin. I'm well-acquainted with grief (and was studying death, dying, and bereavement in grad school when Stephanie died and blew my world apart).

    The things you're saying are VALID. You have every right to every feeling you're having, and people say the most trite things, trying to be helpful. Acknowledge them and move on. They can't feel what you're feeling right now, but you do need to feel it.

    I ran from my grief and spent a year and a half in a hellish relationship that distracted me and kept me from falling apart. When I came back from that, the grief was still waiting for me.

    Regardless of your religious faith, there is no band-aid you can put on the wound in your heart. You will grieve your dad--everything that happened in those last days, everything you wish you could tell him, everything he will miss (new great-grandchildren, etc.). To say he is in a "better place" doesn't heal you. It may in the future, but right now, you're probably feeling like that "better place" would be sitting there with you!

    I hope you continue to share here. Grief is messy, but it is human. There isn't one of us who will get out of this life having escaped the pangs of grief and, ultimately, our own demise. It's the epitome of being a fearful human.

    Love - D

  3. I think it is absolutely normal to feel up and down, so don't beat yourself up about it.
    Grieving is a unique thing and every one has their own way of dealing with it.
    Knowing that your father is in Heaven is a comfort but you are missing him and that is the part that hurts really bad.
    I really hope that you will feel some measure of comfort from your family and God.

    I was so touched by the kind things you said about me on my blog. I am no Pollyanna though and have not found my experiences easy and now it seems to be even harder...... the uncertainty. Not too good at that.
    Blessings, good wishes for your progress and love....... Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  4. Well, Jules...I don't know exactly where to start, but I think that sometimes God gives us rawness and fatigue to slow us down and make us very aware of what's going on around us. I know that faith is huge....and you have bushels of it. You know that Daddy is with the Lord. He's so very lucky. Someday, when you rejoin him, you will both rejoice in God's goodness. For now....hang in there. Keep writing. Your blog posts are wonderful. I never leave her not learning something new from you. You are a gifted minister~

    Your post and prayer on my blog made me smile...and cry. Thank you, Jules~xoxoxoxoxoxoxx (I wish you lived near me, too!!)

  5. Hello Jules
    Just popped in to say I'm thinking of you. Old cliche as it is - take each day as it comes - really is the only way you can live your life at the moment. Many of us have been there and it does take time - unexpected relapses crop up - then all of a sudden the days don't seem as haphazard and alarming.
    Thanks for dropping by and for your comments. You know the more I look at those photos of the flowers - the ones that some commenters named as Hydrangeas - the more I tend to agree with you and others that they are Buddleia (Butterfly Bushes). Mine here in my garden are just coming into bloom and even tho' they are smaller, my flowers definitely look like minatures of those I saw in Newfoundland. Will post some pictures of them soon.
    Take care


I love to hear from other. Your opinions and viewpoints are always a blessing and encourage other readers as well.