Browsed by
Category: Truth

Take it Personally…

Take it Personally…

I have a hard time with grief. I bet that is a big surprise to my loyal readers. Here is my problem with grief, I don’t feel I’m entitled.

My first experience with grief would have been my sister’s stillborn baby, Brayden. I was only a sophomore in high school. My sister had adults surrounding her that were probably more suited to comfort and support her. I was there, but as a bystander. I felt helpless and in the way. I also didn’t realize I was watching my sister change before my very eyes. I quietly grieved that sweet baby boy and my dear sister who would never be the same.

My next experience came with the suicide of a teenage girl I didn’t even know in high school. I went to her visitation and funeral. I did not know her, but I felt like I did. I was too chicken to commit suicide, but she wasn’t. I felt like an impostor. I was sure if anyone who actually knew her and loved her found out I didn’t, they would be insulted at my appearance. I quietly grieved for that sweet girl.

Next would be my Grandma. She passed away after a head on collision with a semi-truck. She was in a coma for two or three days and finally passed when they were trying to determine if she had any brain activity. At the time, I was not a part of her religion. She did not talk to me about spiritual things if she even talked to me at all. There were others who adored her, who stayed faithful to the God she believed in. I felt like they had more of a right to grieve for my Grandma than I did. I quietly grieved for my sweet Grandma.

A few short years after my Grandma’s passing, my ex-husband passed away in a car wreck. He was drinking and driving and ran his truck head on into a mother with her three boys. Everyone perished. He had been my ex-husband for close to four years at the time he passed. I had divorced him, I felt I had no right to grieve him. However, I did. I grieved over that man for a good year or so. Along with that grief came feelings of betrayal toward my current husband. I tried to keep my grief to myself to avoid hurting as many people as possible.

My father passed away almost three years ago now. He is the only person I have really felt a right to grieve. However, I feel I’ve been grieving too long and too hard for him. I try to stifle it and it comes out sideways.

Now, my dear friend Lisa. I almost don’t feel entitled to grieving over her. I didn’t talk to her every day, though I did think of her every day. We were on good terms when she passed and I can’t say I have any regrets. Then, there are those who stood beside her every day through her cancer treatments, her chemotherapy, her inability to speak, cleaning her wounds, cheering her on, traveling to the ends of the earth with her. I feel they deserve to grieve more than I do.

The thing about grief is that it is personal. It feels lonely and isolating because no matter how much I want someone else to have shared my experiences with the one I’ve lost, they are my feelings, my experiences and therefore, it is my grief.

The only other being who could possibly know exactly how I feel, would be the One who created me.

Tomorrow is Lisa’s funeral, or, as I’m sure she would rather I referred to it, a celebration of her life. I am hoping getting together with friends who share memories and tears and laughter will help.

I will try to allow myself to grieve, because I have every right to.

This grief is mine,
And mine alone;
Inside my heart,
Is where it’s grown.

It’s somewhat lonely,
And hard to feel;
Make no mistake,
My grief is real.

Sometimes it hurts,
As I remember;
Sometimes it burns,
Like a glowing ember.

Sometimes it cries,
With silent tears;
Or screams out loud,
And no one hears.

I try to disown it,
Say it’s not mine;
Ask how I’m doing,
I’ll say, “I’m fine.”

How can one,
Who’s been given much;
Become so sad,
And out of touch?

I have not tended,
To my heart;
I’ve pushed away,
I’ve torn apart.

Any connection,
That has been broken;
Can feel a grief,
Even if unspoken.

Everyone deserves
A chance to grieve
You can choose to comfort,
Or choose to leave.

This grief is mine,
And mine alone;
Inside my heart,
Is where it’s grown.

-April Coen
October 17, 2011


%d bloggers like this: