Monday, December 15, 2008

Facing Grief The Best Way You Can

Facing Grief The Best Way You Can
by Felicia Lam


I did not plan how I would handle my own grief.

I had no idea what feelings have slipped in unnoticed that had left me numbed throughout for months that went by, in that I was merely existing but have not much inkling of whatever else that is going on. It was really as if, I had found a door into another zone altogether.

It was like being in a trance after being stucked with a broken record playing in your head for the longest time that you no longer know it is there. Sometimes the feeling is like, being in the eye of the storm where everything else is just twirling around with such high speed madness but leaving one totally unaffected and indifferent, while at other times, it just sucks one in but devastate everything leaving one completely powerless and there is not a thing that one can do about it.

There have also been times when a certain smell or an item like his mug or a coffee spoon which used to have been his favourite would hit me so unexpectedly that it would jolt me up from the usual rut that I have been in.

It made me want to get up and face it like a warrior and fight my Enemy with well girded strategies and readiness for it. But most times, I confront it simply because it made me angry enough to do something. I was tired of always running in circles and being continually harassed and tormented by this unfamiliar enemy. I just had to be mean enough to want to let it know what I think of it.

It could be an all perfectly beautiful day and yet it would break me down to shreds because I could not share it with him. On a horribly miserable day, it was worst because I could not find him to tell it to. Some days, I would find myself staring into his cabinet where his clothes are and held on to it and cry like a child who had just been abandoned. It was like a scene of a train crashing into me again and again but I would still not move.

My own isolation for months in a familiar dark corner of my room which I called “my world” brought me much solace and a sense of rest. In it, I felt that time suspended. In it, I finally found a tiny space in this wide big Universe which belonged to me. I am no longer uncomfortable or afraid of the dark because it has taught me that only in darkness, can I see the stars.

Hours and days can slip off without even me noticing. I had no interest in whatsoever that I was doing. The first three months was mostly doing the same activity which I felt I could manage best. I found my limbs and body parts mostly attached to the bed in a face down fashion. Like I needed to feel my heartbeat to remind me that I was still alive even though I could not feel it.

I could not talk to anyone about it because I was convinced that no one would understand even though I knew how much they cared about my well being. I could not even manage a full sentence when I was trying to write, after a Grief Counsellor visited me and advised me to try journaling. I so desperately wanted to open up a window to let it all out, even if it is, just a little at a time. But I could not find a word to even begin.

I could not face the people who cared about me. Even worst, I could not even face the two precious persons who needed me most at that time.. my children.

Most thought it was odd of me, and even selfishly irresponsible to be neglecting them at the time when they most needed assurance and guidance in leading them out of their sorrow for losing their dad who had also meant the world to them. Months went by and as I was coping with my own grief the best way that I knew how, they too did the same.

How they had each coped.. is another well worth piece to think and write about next, perhaps. It may be interesting to note the differences in how a child would cope in comparison with a teen.

The pain in grief that sorrow brings is like a cruel ugly monster that creeps out from behind the closet and scare your children without you having any power to stop. But that does not mean there is nothing else which one can do to make them come back less often, and hopefully, gave up coming entirely because they know they no longer scare.



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