Saturday, May 12, 2012


I don't do grief very well. I'm not sure anyone does, but it's a particular area that I'm no good at (not that I would like to improve with practice or anything).

There's a lot to grieve right now in my life.  Lots to celebrate too, yeah, but the grief.  A friend died today after a long battle with cancer.  Another friend is in the hospital with pneumonia and maybe cancer back again (one or both could easily be fatal, and fast). 

The grieving for people is complicated by a pet that died, my last childhood pet, and she died of something that could maybe have been prevented.  It makes me kick myself for not being more on top of things.  It's all tied up with a complicated family mess that I'm not sure how to handle yet, but I'll keep working on it.  The short of it is that my expectations exceeded someone's capacity to meet them, and it makes me very unhappy.

I presumably failed a class (grade still in limbo, which is my least favorite thing ever), so that sets me back a year in school, and at least at first I played that game of what did I do wrong.  I know I did plenty of things wrong, and I know how to study differently to do better next time.  It's a lot to grieve though, losing that dream and losing the fight.  It's been a rough time and it's miraculous really, for me to be here at all, let alone having magically pulled off not awful grades in almost all of my classes.  Now I think I'm at a place where I accept that I did the best I could with what I had to work with, and I'm lucky to get to give it another shot.

It's a great cycle, grieving.  I just have to be mindful not to get sucked into the "it's all my fault/why didn't I.../if only I had..." circuit that goes with it.  Historically I've wound up there and sometimes festered there imagining ways things would be better and different "if only I had..."  BUT this is clearly a dead end, because I'm not the only person involved and I can't control other people and their choices.

So I'm trying to do grief differently.  Go to the funeral, don't pretend things are all right when they aren't, make things right with people as soon as possible, cry and cry as often as needed because you can't heal all hunched up and not communicating.  I don't know if my new, stronger idea of a higher power is really inclusive enough for me to totally have the strength to trust it works out as it's meant to be, at least all of the time.  It makes me mad that life is unfair and that I can't fix it all myself... but I can fix myself with help, and that's something.  Letting go of the idea that I can control my life is a challenge and I think it will stay a challenge for quite some time to come BUT that won't stop me from continuing to try. A little bit more letting go and trusting every day...

I think I'm just going to be sad for a week or two and then get back to whatever comes next.  In the meantime, sappy movies, chick lit, and mowing the lawn. Probably also key lime pie.  (see, health nuts? Improvement! I'm going to grieve in a pseudo-unhealthy way by primarily non-food gluttony)

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