Natural Progressions

Death is the mother of beauty. Wallace Stevens

This reading from my ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) daily meditation really spoke to me last week. Of course, with losing our friend a couple weeks ago, it was quite timely again. I believe God does that to help us see His message for all of us. Death is as natural as birth yet we humans see it as an end a lot of the time. I believe the thing of it is, the person who dies is the lucky one. They no longer have to be witness to the perils of living in this world. No, I’m not suggesting we end it all when we can’t take it any more. Not at all.

What I mean is death is the period in the sentence of our life. Not a sentence as in time served in prison, but the sentence of the story of our life. Maybe Lenny’s end of the sentence was an exclamation point. The guy certainly could make us laugh and forget our worries. Yes, let’s call it an exclamation point ending. Your life becomes complete when you pass.

And the part of life you spend with your spouse, best friend, significant other, or family and friends is over too. The grief is another process you need to experience to make those relationships complete. Your grief has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s personal. My grief, should I lose the Babe, will be different than yours is. No two people grieve in the same way. The women I’ve observed in Mom’s family are often very stoic in their grief. Mom was when Dad died. And she became angry if my brothers and I talked about Dad in front of her. We clammed up. We took our grief and expressed it in many bad ways. I withdrew from my kids. I was not in any relationship at the time, so no one was affected but my kids. That was wrong of me. They needed me. I just wanted the hurt to stop. My brothers drank and did some drugs. All dysfunctional. But we did not know any better.

We were used to seeing people behave in dysfunctional ways; siblings arguing, refusing to speak, anger, and pointing out the faults of the person who passed, not the good they did. Not how they would be missed. That was wrong. I vaguely remember the same thing happening when our Grandpa died on Christmas Eve, 1964. I was the oldest granddaughter, so I was twelve. I could feel the unrest among Mom, my aunts, and Grandma. Grandma had regrets. She carried those around forever.

I’m so glad we have resources now, for all people in their stages of grief. Little children lose a parent, they can utilize groups like at Teddy Bear Hollow in Omaha, Nebraska. Contact the Centering Corporation, they’re great people. They can help you. They help kids, Gold Star Families, and everyone in between. Check them out. You’ll be glad you did.

Dealing with the sadness of grief takes time, just as living a life does. There are different stages, and we all process them differently. The Babe and I have talked about this. Should he die before I do, I’ve asked him to come talk to me out on our deck, early in the morning, when the weather is warm enough to be there. He agreed that would be a good place. I suppose it would be from the fireplace in the winter. We love our fireplace, and enjoy it every chance we get.

I have no idea what path my grief will take me. It will be deep and big, I’m sure. The practical truths that surround everyone grieving are;

  • The dead have no problems. Our problem is our sense of loss.
  • Acceptance of death, just like our acceptance of our past mistakes and bad decisions, is what a wise person does.

We will survive. We will feel better someday. Some days we won’t. You cannot get around it; you have to go through it. If you are a Veteran and need help, call your local VA. Help is available for all of us. Let’s walk with each other through our grief, and come out whole on the other side.

“I rejoice that my loved one and I had time together. I am grateful as well as grief-stricken.”

Thank you to Hazelden Meditations, for their August 20th page in “Days of Healing, Days of Joy; Daily Meditations for Adult Children” that inspired this blog post. Be safe out there. See you tomorrow!

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