Monday, October 17, 2005

Grief

Grief is a funny thing. It strikes you at unexpected times and without warning. It can take over as if the hurt was still fresh and make you feel every bit of pain as if you had just experienced it. As an adult, I have had very little experience with grief. Both of my dad's parents passed when I was a kid and my mom's dad I never new. The grandparent I spent the most time with growing up (who now lives with my parents) just turned 90 - go grandma! We have been healthy and haven't experienced any pain associated with illness or accident. So last February and March, when we lost my husband's grandparents, was a knew experience for me. Both losses were painful for everyone, but I had an easier time with grandma since she experienced a decline following psneumonia just after grandpa's passing. Grandpa on the otherhand was completely and totally unexpected. He had been active and vibrant and always the first person to jump up and offer to help with something. My mother-in-law often had to threaten him to stay off the roof of the house when the gutters were dirty. Grandpa may have not been my blood relative, but he was still my grandpa.

This is why last night hit me so hard. We have been hopelessly addicted to watching Six Feet Under on DVD. The show started after we stopped getting HBO so we have never seen an episode (except for a couple on airplane rides). It was highly recommended so I had added them to my queue and have hardly had the need to break up the 15+ disks with other movies. Last night we watched episode 10 from season 2. For those who have not seen the show, it is about a family who runs a funeral home and each episode starts with the passing of someone who will eventually be cared for in their home. Episode 10 started with an older man who was taking his recycling out to the curb when he started to feel that he was going to have a heart attack. I had been looking down and not really seen what was going on until my husband said - oh, no. I looked up and saw the man on the screan clutch his chest and fall onto the lawn. That was it, I lost it. I couldn't stop crying and we had to pause the show. Grandpa had passed very similarly to this. And this unextected reenactment was all I could take. All of a sudden, eight months later, I was there with grandpa when it happened and it hurt. It hurt a lot.

I'm still surprised at my reaction especially given how well my husband held up. I think this has a lot to do with the quality of the grieving he was able to do when it all happened. I'm sure this won't be the last time something like this happens. We miss grandpa and grandma terribly, but fortunately we focus on the happy times and share our favorite memories of them. Because although they are gone, they will be with us forever.

2 comments:

The Stitchin' Sheep said...

What are you trying to do to me? And, first thing in the morning, too. I remember that episode, but I saw it long before Grandpa died. I'm sure it would have affected me the same way if I saw it now. I still have days like that, too, where something little catches me off guard and throws me into a fit of tears. I miss them.

Nonnahs said...

I think that's totally natural. The same thing happens to me too.

It's so weird that you should bring this up now, because I just experienced a grieving episode myself. It's been 3 1/2 years now since my mom passed away, and for the most part I have dealt with it pretty well, I think. Not a day goes by (literally) that I don't think about her, but I am not usually overly sad or dwell on it (maybe just every once in a while). I still feel she is with me all the time. Before she passed, there were going to be certain times when I knew I would really miss her: when I get married and when I have kids are a couple of biggies. Not so big, but I did think about, would be when I am sick. Your mom is the one person who could always take care of you the "right" way. She always knew what you should do. Even as an adult, I would call her and ask her what I should take, or what I should do if I wasn't feeling well. You know, no one knows quite how to take care of you like your mom. So anyway, I've been having these tummy problems, and I got so frustrated over the weekend, because I didn't know what to do about it. And I found myself really missing my mom, because I couldn't call her and ask for advice on what I should eat or what I could do to make me feel better. It's a dumb little thing, but sometimes it's in moments like those that I get really sad and miss her a lot.