Living with Grief
This is a very touchy subject for most to talk about. However, the fact is that death is inevitable. How do we overcome death and is there such a thing as making the best of it? I know loss all too well. In 1997, I lost my brother to a random freeway sniper shooting. He was only 5 days from his 22nd birthday. In February of 2002, I lost my grandmother that was precious to me due to complications of diabetes. In May of 2002, my mother passed away due to a head injury she had when she fell on Mother’s Day. She was only 47 years old. In 2003 and 2004, I had a miscarriage. In 2010, I lost my dad due to renal failure at the age of 61. I am now 41 years old and I have experienced so much loss. This is by far not easy to live with at all. No one can describe the heartache, devastation and shock of experiencing such loss.
It’s been years since I have lost my loved ones and I still have moments where I physically and emotionally feel like I just found out. On most days I am happy and live in gratitude every moment. On other days the grief attacks. Sometimes I will have a dream about my parents and in my dream I realize that they are dead. I then begin to cry and wake up crying. I wake up with the heaviness in my heart as if it all just happened. I allow myself to cry it out. I am always alone when it happens and I must admit that it only makes me feel worst. I allow myself to feel the pain and let the tears come down. I cry it out and allow myself to experience my experience. It is okay to allow yourself to feel the pain, the point is to not get caught up in it. Avoiding my pain has never worked for me. In the past I use to mask my pain with anger. I was angry at the world, angry with myself and angry with God. It was difficult for those who were closest to me to not be affected by my anger. Learning that anger was my way of masking my pain has been such a freeing experience. I became aware of what my behavior was creating around me and how that made me feel really bad about myself. I know now that I have a choice. That it is ok to be vulnerable. That it is ok to admit that I feel sad or hurt. Most of all that it is ok to cry. I learned that when I am having a grief attack I have a choice of how I will deal with it and how the rest of the day will be. This is a conscious choice. I can choose to feel sad all day or choose to make the best of my day to honor their death. Ultimately I have a choice because I am alive. I have the opportunity to make the best of my day every day and every moment because I am alive. I cannot change what is; I can only change how I choose to live my life moment to moment. We all have a choice.