Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Grieving Process

I've had my share of grieving. Losing my mother so early in life was a blow, but I felt like it couldn't get much worse than that. Ultimately, I still believe that, but it doesn't make it easier to countenance a new loss, even if it is only indirectly.

Right now, my heart has been rent by the struggle of a fourteen month old girl who I have never met, but I have just found out she no longer struggles.

We hear about tragedies on the news all the time, but we simply cannot bear the weight of the world on a day to day basis so we don't process the full implications.

I'm trying to keep functioning. I have a lot to do and I find the work to be a good distraction, but every once in a while a I'll find myself surprised that I'd put it out of my thoughts, at least for a short while.

The shock one enters into is such an important aid; it would be impossible to function without it. It is a thankful psychological band-aid that masks the struggle that will come next. I've found that the hard part isn't the losing, it is the learning to live without.

It is an intentional process of self-preservation that wracks you with guilt the entire way.

I remember the first time I caught myself enjoying hearing a song on the radio after my mom passed away. I was horrified that I could have slipped into a sense of normalcy. That I could have "forgotten" for a moment about my loss. It seemed like an affront to her and how crucial she'd been to me.

Eventually, it starts to happen more frequently and the guilt and the shock attenuate with time. They have to.

Living without is not forgetting.
Living without is not ignoring.
Living without is... living.


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