My philosophy for a long time has been this: If you can't talk about it, write about it...
WARNING: This isn't gonna be a happy, perky little post. So if you mind my temporary morbidity, this is your cue.
Anyway, I'm currently taking a course called Lifespan Developmental PSY, and naturally since this is the end of the session, our final chapter of discussion today was on death and dying. It was pretty rough, and had I glanced at my printed out Powerpoint notes ahead of time, I'd have been more prepared for what was to come...but alas, I guess I like the element of surprise, as I never read them until we're going over them in class.
A few interesting topics came up, and had I been able to put my own issues to the side, I think I may have contributed a lot more to the discussion. Death isn't really something people like to talk about, so the "discussion" was pretty much one-sided, with my professor speaking the majority of the time. One of the topics that kind of irritated yet intrigued me...was the issue that some say spouses grieve more for a dying spouse than children grieve for a parent. Yes, you read correctly, but I'll give you a moment to re-read that statement for clarification.
Imagine my irritation...
This is where I finally had to clear the throat up and speak...since no one else wanted to.
For those who aren't aware, I lost my mother to colon cancer 2 years ago. She was diagnosed extremely late, and 7 months post-diagnosis, she passed away. Since then, a number of times I've had people ask me how do you get over the loss so quickly...it sorta makes me want to slap people. I'm not over losing my mother. I'll never be 'over' it. When I think about the moment I was lying in my dorm, and woke up to that phone call from my mother...the pain is still just as fresh as it was on February 4, 2008. I remember the exact words, my exact reaction, and other things about that day, that I'd rather not go into. Point being, this isn't something you just 'get over'. And after I lose the urge to introduce my hands to someone's face, I realize that perhaps they really don't mean any harm. To the outsider, it may appear as though I've "gotten over" my mother's death. I go through each day, laughing and smiling, carrying on conversations about random things, and just living my life...but I do all this out of necessity, not passivity. I have to find ways to keep busy, and move forward, because if I take a few moments and let my mind wander to the point of missing my mother, I'll feel incapacitated.... I'll be allowing myself to break down, and experience those feelings I felt two years ago as my 14 year old brother and I pulled the blanket thingy over my mother's face before her casket was closed...and that, as touching as it was for other people, is NOT a moment I like to relive. That is not the state of mind I want to be in... so I live. I laugh. I love... and I do all this, knowing that it's what keeps me sane. It's what helps me sleep at night, without waking up thinking I hear my mom in the shower getting ready for work...or her music playing from the dining room...or her keys jingling when she walks in the door.
Back to my point...
I just feel like grief is kind of a blanket term. I don't believe on relative would mourn a person's death any more than another relative...I think there are different things being grieved. I lost my mother...the person who carried me, gave birth to me, taught me, guided me, tried to keep me from life's mistakes...I lost that. But my loss isn't any more important than my grandmother's, who lost her first child; or my daddy's, who lost the woman he'd been loving since they were in the single age digits. We all lost one person, but we lost many different things...my father doesn't know how I feel each day. His mother, my beautiful grandma, is alive and well...just a phone call away. I don't know how he feels...I don't have anyone I've loved romantically for over 4 decades. There are so many ties that bind us to one another, and when those ties are broken, people can sympathize all they want, but nothing compares unless you've experienced the same loss.
So...yeah, that's all. I know it's pretty long, but it's what I needed to get off my chest. If you made it this far, thanks for reading lol
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