Grief, Confusion, Heartbreak and I'm Selfish
This season of my life has been killer. The past 3 years were murder of the spirit. This cloud kicked my rear and tore me to shreds. I have been grieving for a long while now, and I knew it, but I really did not know it. I am climbing upward out of this mess as best I can. It is slow and confusing and I am trying. I decided to write about it, because there is no way that I am alone, and because it hit me hard today.
Grief sucks. It is a horrible thing that makes me want to continuously throw up to get the pain out but nothing comes up. I learned about the stages of grief in college; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I can accurately say anger is a big one. Denial too. Ok, depression and probably bargaining. Acceptance hopefully. One way or another, I am sick of feeling ill.
She had a stroke over 3 years ago, many of you know. Major brain injury. She had another stroke recently. She is not the same person, and yet she is. She is physically here with us, under the same roof, only it is not the same person I grew up with. Or maybe she is? Mom is here, remembering and saying things that let me know she is the same and then she is different. Absolutely dissimilar. I am not sure if she realizes the contrast between who she is now and who she was. Occasionally it is obvious when she engages my children in conversation and they tell her they are confused by what she said. Her entire sentence is nonsense. You can see the light bulb go off and she quickly realizes she said something strange. And then there are times she has perfectly reasonable conversations and she is my mom again. I grieve who she was and sometimes she comes back. It is confusing.
During the day, she does not want to be around other people unless I am with her, but she misses everyone so much. She longs for community. My frustration often gets the best of me when she anxiously waits for me to come home so that I can take her out again. I wish she had friends. I wish she could drive. If she could figure out how to use the phone or turn on the tv again. I wish she was her old self, and she isn't.
I spoke to a friend last night who takes care of her husband. He is also not who he used to be. She said she considers herself to be a horrible person for the thoughts she has and how frustrated she gets with him. He can be mean. He drives her crazy and she feels like a jerk because he is the one with the injury and he can't help it, but I get it. I get it. Grief is awful. It brings out the most confusing feelings. It conjures up pure and vile emotion and you want to run away as fast and far as you possibly can until you reach a cliff and jump right on into deep water, and then you feel guilty because you realize you miss and love and need that person the most. Keep pressing on. When I am at my worst, I count to 30 and rest on the fact that she is my mother. She cannot change, and she would like to be her old self too.
Grieving the living. It is a heavy thing. There is no end to it until there is, and then the guilt begins.
I am not alone, and neither are you.
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.