"Grieving the loss of a child is a process, it begins the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Friday & Grief Conference

Well, today is Friday. Again. Do you know how very much we dislike every Friday around this house now? We actually really dislike them. Every Friday marks another week to the day, without our sweet Carly. Today is our 25th week of "Walking Thru the Gates of HELL".

As time passes so quickly, our hurt deepens. I never expected that would happen. We've all heard the saying, "time heals all wounds." Well, I'm here to tell you all, that saying couldn't be further from the truth. Time isn't healing our wound. In fact, time is making it worse. Each passing day gets harder for us. Granted, we have only been on this horrible roller coaster ride with grief for 6 months. But I can tell you that within those 6 months, life has not gotten easier.

On October 6, we attended a grief conference with the speaker Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., C.T. . He is a very good speaker. I would highly recommend his conference. This man knows his stuff! He spoke of the various myths about grief and I thought I'd share with you today, the 5 myths that he speaks of.

Myth 1: ~ Grief and mourning are the same experience.

Truth: ~ There is an important distinction between the two.
Grief; is the internal thoughts & feelings we experience when someone we love dies.
Mourning; is expressing those thoughts & feelings outwardly.

Myth 2: ~ There is a predictable & orderly progression with the experience of grief.

Truth: ~ Each person's grief is unique for him or her.
Grief is NOT predictable and can NOT be categorized.

Myth 3: ~ Move away from grief & mourning instead of toward it. Overcome it, instead of experience it.

Truth: ~ In order to heal, people must move toward their grief through continued mourning, not away from it, through repression & denial.

Myth 4: ~ Tears expressing grief are a sign of weakness.

Truth: ~ Crying is nature's way of releasing internal tension in the body and allows the mourner to communicate a need to be comforted. Crying makes a person feel better, emotionally and physically. Tears are NOT a sign of weakness. In fact, crying is an indication of the griever's willingness to do the "work of mourning."

Myth 5: ~ The goal; to "get over" your grief.

Truth: ~ One never "gets over" grief. That would mean we resolve or recover from grief. It also suggests a return to "normalcy" when the fact is life does NOT return to "normal". People who believe this are potentially harmful to the one who is grieving.

As I said, this man is a great speaker. Paul said he could listen to him every day. He draws you in very quickly. I was in tears within 30 seconds of the conference. It was very emotional for us. But he spoke of things that made us realize we aren't going crazy. And that each one of us is going through this process in our own way. Some people many not like it, they may disagree with our way, but we learned that we have to do it our way. And we have to go through it, we can not go around it.

My way of grieving for Carly is different than Paul's. For example; Paul feels closer to Carly by sleeping in our bed. (Carly slept with us every night. Right smack dab in the middle of us) I can't bring myself to lay down in that bed. I sleep in the living room every night. The last night I slept in our bed was April 22. Believe me, I'm trying to work through this. I don't even understand it. No one understands it. Except for my counselor. She told me it didn't surprise her. Because our bed, which Carly shared with us, was where I nursed her back to health on many separate occasions. Through many illness. Through chemo, 8 different IV antibiotics that went on for 8 weeks around the clock. Our bed is where I would place her with a portable DVD player while she was on her 30 day steroid phase of chemo. If I didn't place her between us with a movie on, I did not get one single minute of sleep; steroids don't allow a person to sleep, especially when they are taking multiple pills each day for 30 straight days. I even have a hard time just going into our bedroom. But, I'm working on it. Trying to build myself up to the point that I can at least get in our room and get it cleaned. 6 months of avoiding a room wreaks havoc on it. Trust me.


Rochelle said...

That does sound like a great conference and great information. Glad you guys were able to attend.
Unfortunately, those myths are held by many people who have never experienced grief or death.
I know our great friend whose husband died suddenly at 43 yrs old couldn't believe how many people thought she should just "get over" the grief thing and move on.
We are still holding you up in prayer as you continue to walk this path.

Unknown said...

Grief is hard work and you are so right, the goal is not to move away from it but to go head first, directly into it. That is healthy grieving. I hold out this tiny ray of hope, at least on the good days, that someday by going into the grief, I may come out on the other side. But then I wonder, is there another side? I hate this grief thing and I'm tired of tears. I'm past a year and it only gets worse. I'm skinny, I'm ugly, I'm haggard looking and I don't even know if I care. I'm so unbelievably sick of it. Wish I could just punch someone.

Heather said...

Sending you love friend and prayers of peace, as you continue to navigate your world without sweet Carly.

Be patient with yourself and the room will wait.