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What I didn’t know about grief

There's a blog magazine I read called What's your grief?. It helps me process some of what I feel in a more tangible way. Recently I saw an entry called 64 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Grief and immediately honed in on number thirty, “The last 24 hours of their lives will replay in your mind” and 36, “You lose yourself, your identity, meaning, purpose, values, your trust”.

I knew I'd go all over the emotional scale with grief. I knew I'd be in disbelief. I knew I'd sit shocked and trip over myself. I knew I'd bargain, that the world would look different, that I'd have memories so real it felt like I was standing there with him again. I knew these things, but I didn't know my ability to trust would be tested. I wasn't expecting that. I wasn't expecting to feel betrayed by the entire world for having the audacity to continue on without him. I was offended. How could you? How could you possibly keep spinning as if nothing happened? It's an insult.

My mother's death doesn't feel the same as my brother's death, maybe because she shouldn't have been here that long anyway. The circumstances of her death, what she did before she died makes me shiver. I throw it out of my head and try not to even come close to it. My sister may never get past that. It makes me realize what I escaped. I shiver, not because I can't believe it, but because I can.

I struggle to hold the pieces of that day without rocking, without my stomach tying in knots, without my eyes running around the room looking for a place to hide. I'm angry she couldn't 'just' die in the hospital, couldn't 'just' have an illness and waste away, no, she had to make it another reason to stay awake until 4 am reading blogs about how to manage all this stuff. She couldn't cut us a break, not even in her passing.

I blame my mother for my brother's death.

I look in the mirror and see my mother. When I put on make up in my mirror I look just like her. That doesn't bother me. We have the same expressions and we both have black eyes. Her eyes are black with evil, mine are black with emptiness.

It's almost 4 am and I'm awake trying to find ways not to go to sleep. Inevitably my mind starts going a hundred miles per hour. Desperation sets in around 3 am followed by all out emotional warfare. I know better than this, to stay up this late. Sometimes I think I do it just to upset myself, like a way to self harm. Is that part of grieving, too? Do I have to feel the pain of their loss in order to justify living?

This evening I do not feel compassion for my mother.

I feel lost and alone right now. My week has lost its structure. I don't have therapy Monday afternoon nor do I have a Bible study Friday afternoon. There's no mid-week meeting at the Hall. I'm feeling somewhat agitated, stripped of the things I hold on to for the sake of sanity. I do not do well with change.

Faith

April 24, 2017 - 4:15 am EST

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