I’ve been thinking about grief today. Grief is such a trickster. When someone close to you dies you feel it right away, of course. Perhaps it is mixed with disbelief or anger or even a sense of inevitability. You deal with it as you deal with things. Maybe you cry and express it loudly, and maybe you bury it under a mantle of numbness. If that is the case, you may wonder why you aren’t ‘feeling’ it more. This mingles some guilt in with it all.
You make it through the rituals which must be done. The farewell, the closing of affairs, the dispensing of possessions. All these things help you move on, and as you do, you realize that you are changed in some way. You begin to consider the possibility of your own passing, realize that you will surely want to leave everything neat and tidy for those who love you.
In the weeks and months following your loved one’s death you begin to look outward again, and begin living your life as it comes. You feel like you’re healing and that you’ve said your goodbyes. Aspects of your life are different now, of course, but you’re dealing with it as is required. You forget about the numbness, thinking (if you do think about it) that you’ve felt your sadness and life has moved on, as it surely does.
Then grief begins to play its tricks. A dream happens in which you beg the one who has passed to help you, you are desperate for his help in the moment of the dream. You can’t believe that he isn’t coming to help you. Only upon waking do you remember that he can no longer help you in that way. On another day you begin listening to a book on tape, a novel about a time long ago. Suddenly, for no reason that is in any way connected to the book, you begin to feel tears rising from your heart and without warning you are crying as you drive along, still listening.
You begin to consider that your connection to the one who has passed really isn’t over, may not ever be over. Maybe it’s just gone on hiatus. Gradually you learn to savor the teary moments as they arise. You greet them with your heart, and then return to living your life, in the present moment.