Grief Group

She decided it was time. One day short of twenty-one months. Tic-Toc, Tic-Toc…can you hear time churning? Thankful for a peaceful commute, and a settled mind focusing on navigating directions. It’s here! Deep breath, prayer…more breathing…let’s go!

Two women buzzing around. Do they see me? No smile, no hello…wait, am I at The Writer’s Club? Deep breath…just stay; fight the urge to run out. “Oh, wait, another women just arrived. She’s too bubbly to be here”, was her immediate thought. This is so painfully awkward. Being an Introvert makes the silence worse. And, so began a grueling two hour ordeal…

“What am I trying to prove? Who am I trying to impress? Why put myself in a torturous situation? Do I not hurt enough? How is it that my mindset is so skewed, so jumbled? I HATE THIS!!!”, and so went an onslaught of chaotic waves of thought, upon thought, upon thought.

There were times I thought, “Yes, the Plastic Faces are coming off!” NOT! Only a glimpse was allowed before the masks were securely fasten, back into place…let’s continue the masquerade.

“Why? What are we afraid of? Is reality so difficult, I’d rather live a lie? Do I not want to be open and vulnerable because of fear? Fear of judgment; fear of being misunderstood; fear of what?”, waves and waves of punches of the mind.

Someone decides to vomit; to splatter all she has been holding onto; to open the gates of her mind in a relentless way. The vent up guilt, trauma flowing. The wrestling with what she thought she knew, which pales in comparison to what is happening to her day after day. She doesn’t shut up! She keeps going! Only to get cliches and pat answers. GRRRR!!!

As I am in my chair, shaking uncontrollably! Being horribly triggered by the rawness of this woman. “Run! Go! Escape! Make her shut up! Why is she saying that? I can’t hear this anymore!”, thoughts that came into the spiraling mind. With the added guilt of not being compassionate enough. However, how do I help her out when I’m in my own spiral?

Home now. “How did I get home? What happened?” Unceasing crying and screaming with tumultuous spasms ensue. Beating myself up for not knowing better; for going, too soon; for not being in control.

Finally safe, curled up in a ball…spaced out, exhausted…sleep is welcomed. BUT the nightmares and images assailed my already beat-up soul. And, so, goes my journey with grief…an unwelcomed companion.

Yeah, I’m thinking it wasn’t time – for this :-\

The Day After

Made it to the other side. The fog has cleared. The tightness released. Now the Grief Unchained and the Unfiltered thoughts are released…brace yourself!

My God has not shrunk. My faith has not been diminished. In fact my faith is what keeps me from ending it all; from escaping this world that seems to be vent on adding vinegar to my wound.

You telling me that Angie is on your heart and mind, doesn’t diminish my pain and envy that you are celebrating your daughter’s special day. Do I always have to take the high road? Do I always have to think nice happy thoughts? Can you allow me to be real and honest about my sorrow and grief? Does it always have to be kosher?

So there’s a timeline? But it has already been x-amount-of-days! Oh, excuse me, I didn’t realize that I’m not on your timetable. I didn’t realize that my grief had an expiration date. Don’t you know that one second without my daughter is an eternity? Don’t you know that until she’s in my arms, I will ache to hold her? Don’t rush me! Don’t patronize me!

You can’t handle my “thoughts”. The continual horrid movie playing, nonstop – unrelenting. My daughter wasting away, until she’s only skin and bones. My daughter vomiting her insides. My daughter looking at Mommie, asking for help. My daughter crying, saying she doesn’t want to die. AND, I, unable to grant her wish. That body bag! That casket! That deep hole!

My Reality! My Journey!

Just another day in the life of a grieving mother😢💔

Unpredictable Waves

~ wave after ~ wave ~ after wave

how to prepare? how to brace?

unpredictable, unseen, unexpected

laid out, crumbled…yet, fighting to breathe

screaming, punching, tearing at my flesh

numb yet fully engaged…quiet yet horribly loud

the spirals that comes from nowhere

the feelings that are everywhere

once again, it hits…AND there’s nothing to do, but…

Just Breathe…

The Lego Effect

Have you ever stepped on a Lego? Walking into a room, minding your own business, when WAMMO! The pain, the agony, jerk, the bouncing on one leg…did I mention the pain?

Yup, I’ve hit a wall! I’ve “stepped” on a gazillion legos. Grief is such an intricate beast.

This month has been filled with Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, Birth Announcements, Wedding Invitations, and on and on. I have been purposeful about making decisions to attend or not to attend without feeling guilty or like I “have-to-be-there” (therapy is helping). Can I just pat myself on the back, cause, I believe I’ve done well, thank you!

BUT it hit! And, it hit hard! Horrid panic/anxiety attack. Anger. Screaming. Stomach knots. Difficulty breathing.

I’ll never see my daughter in a wedding dress…I’ll never hold her child….I’ll never celebrate with her a birth announcement….I’ll never…I’ll never…I’ll never…SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!

~ Sigh ~

When my brain quiets down, I KNOW my daughter is not missing out on anything. She is whole and complete. I have peace and assurance that I will hold her in my arms again. Then, and only then, will this assault of my mind and emotions will be over.

In the meantime, I hunker down and allow the waves to come. I don’t fight my feelings and emotions or condemn myself for feeling this way. I’m learning to ride them out. And, as I step on them “legos”, I’ll jump and scream and writhe in pain. It won’t be forever, cause there’s no legos in heaven 😉

Tools for the Journey

I’d like to pass along a few things that are helping me in coping with my PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, depressions, etc., etc.

small print in BIG BOLD LETTERS – I am NOT, I repeat, I am NOT a professional. My journey “continues”. What is working now, might not work later. And…so…on and so forth. Just sharing what is working for me.

  • I bought noise canceling headphones. So far so good. Also, I’m making it a practice of wearing them in the sauna. I found a guided meditation program, which typically lasts about 15 minutes. I either “listen” to that or soft instrumental music with my eyes closed to avoid distractions.
  • For the smells, I bring in a washcloth with peppermint on it. As I practice my breathing, I’ve incorporated placing the cloth in close proximity so as to breath in the peppermint. It invigorates me (added bonus, clears my sinuses).
  • My son shared with me some info about the carnivorous diet. I’m NOT all in, but I am trying. So far, all I can say is that “beef-makes-me-muy-happy” 😀

The journey continues. So grateful for clarity, and, yes, I’m beginning to sense a “spunk” in my step. AND, maybe, just maybe there is JOY in the “mourning”.

Grief Unchained

Have you ever read something or been told something, so you think “you know” and are “prepared“? (OMG, this word does NOT belong next to or in the vicinity of grief!!!) — Yeah, no creative writing going on around here.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about all the information that is out there regarding “the first year after losing a loved one”. First…everything!

My first Christmas without my daughter was a total BLUR! However, I was “prepared” for “it” to be the worst. AND, let me tell you, I attempted “everything” I had read or been advised to do in order to “minimize” and get through the pain. I even attempted to “be-other-centered” so as to not “turn-in-to-myself”(other peoples words, not mine). Oh, the going caroling at the senior center; the visiting shut-ins and singing songs; the hospitality. What was I thinking?!?!?! Let me tell you, the “pleasing-people-chart” was filled with stars and happy faces. However, I was dying inside. But, true to myself (haha!), I kept this up until I collapsed. Which landed me at my doctors office; which landed me in the ER; which landed me in therapy.

In one of my many talks with My Grieving Friend she said to me, “Grief demands our attention. You cannot ignore it. It will show up whether you like it or not. You might as well pay attention to it and deal with it in a healthy manner.” Now, did I think I was ignoring my grief? Absolutely not! I was just trying to put one foot in front of the other (and, pleasing people while I was at it). My physical body knew otherwise, and hence its total shut down.

Sitting here today – my second Christmas without my daughter – the anesthesia completely gone…fully awake…there isn’t a substance or activity in this world that will take away the pain or even remotely minimize it!

MY DAUGHTER IS NEVER WALKING THROUGH THE DOOR

MY DAUGHTER IS NEVER – ETC., ETC., ETC.,

This side of heaven “it” will never be ok. I’m a Scrooge! I’m a Grinch! If, I could hibernate until all the joyful-sounds were over, I would. However, I know that when I come out of hibernation, the pain will still be there😥💔