Sunday, January 3, 2010


A few months ago I mentioned another bereaved parent, who said "It doesn't get better, it's just different" as time goes by. I had another episode if wondering whether I was normal, as things were really getting better for me. But I think I've reached where she was.

For a time the grief controlled my life. It was unpredictable, overpowering, and uncontrollable. It had a power akin to cancer; I didn't know how I would feel each day, what I could or could not accomplish, whether it would be a good one or a bad one. The emotional pain was so intense it was almost physical.

Grief has gradually morphed into a much more tame beast. I can often tell when it will act up, and I can generally put it off until a convenient time if need be. I don't like living with it, but we have reached a mutual understanding. This is the part that for me is better, so much better. For a while I feared how long I could go on the way things were. It almost reminded me of labor, when you think there is no possible way that you can go on enduring more pain, and then you do.

I no longer fear that. I will live with this pseudo-domesticated companion forever. We get along ok. Honestly, I miss it when it is gone too long, again wondering if I am normal, or love my children enough. I often welcome it's sting when it returns after a break, like a religious penance.

But I find that the beast that is grief was a distraction from reality, the reality that he is gone. And now, when I am quiet, not grieving, not occupied, his absence is all around me.

That is what will never change, will never be better...just different.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. Your writing is always beautiful and honest.

Sybil said...

Dear Dr Smack, If I had your way of explaining things that is just how I would describe our feelings..
just different...and always will be, However we have all our lovely and sad memories to remind us how things were.
Love Sybil x

StorytellERdoc said...

Just beautiful. The courage it must take for you to write such honest, raw emotion is impressive. I am thankful for the words you shared with me. Thank you.