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Dealing with Grief and Guilt, Part 2

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    Dealing with Grief and Guilt, Part 2

    A shoebox and a big red button.

    The first analogy I learned about grief is that it’s like a shoebox. A shoebox that has a tennis ball in it that likes to roll around and bump into the walls of the shoebox.

    Which would be fine, except on one wall of the shoebox, there is this large red button, and each time the ball hits the button, you experience the emotional overload that is grief.

    The good news is, as time goes by, the button gets smaller and smaller, so that the ball triggers it less and less often. The bad news is, the button never completely vanishes.

    Grief is Love

    But I came up with my own analogy for grief that I like much better. It goes like this: Grief is the inverse sensation of love as it leaves your heart.

    When we fall in love, we get this rush of endorphins. We are happy to the point of being giddy, and our heart feels full. When we experience grief, our heart fills empty and we are sad to the point of tremor filled tears. The deeper and longer we love someone, the deeper and more intensely we experience the grief. It’s like it is the inverse of love, and equal to it.

    This isn’t to say that our love for that person diminishes, and we stop loving them. Our love for them is more like a photograph, in that from the moment they die, our love is frozen in time, and I suspect we will forever love that person. So, it’s not so much that we stop loving them, but rather it becomes less intense, and doesn’t grow and increase, and this is what grief is. At least, in my experience.

    Not Forgetting.

    There was another weird thing I experienced that I didn’t expect. I’ve seen people being interviewed about the loss of a loved one, and they always say ‘a day hasn’t gone by when we haven’t thought about so-and-so.’ And I always wondered to myself, ‘really? Really? Every day you have thought about this person that died years ago?? I barely think about the people in my life that are alive, every day.’

    But you know, since Ezri died, there has not been a single day where I haven’t thought about her. Not one, in approaching 2 years.

    At first, I got quite anxious about this, and thought it was something expected of me. Like Ezri would get upset, or feel bad if I didn’t think of her every day. At some random point in a day, something would trigger a memory of her, and the little voice in the back of my mind would tick the box next to the text that reads, ‘remember Ezri today.’ And when that happened, I would feel just a little less anxious about the day because I knew I hadn’t forgotten her.

    About a year after she died, I realised something that completely changed how I remember Ezri. I realised that Ezri is a part of me, and as I can never forget myself, I can never forget Ezri. I take her with me wherever I go.

    You see, Ezri’s influence on my life made me a better parent, and a better person. She also taught me how to cook properly, from using raw ingredients and how to use spices to bring out the flavour. When I cook for people, I tend to get compliments on my cooking, and I know that is because of Ezri.

    She was also very particular about things, like all of us, she had her quirks. One of which is when you return your trolly to the rack after grocery shopping. She would always insist the trolly was put properly into the rack, pushed up into the trolly in front of it. And, if the other trollies are in total disarray, why not take a minute and organise the mess. Every time I put my trolly back I think of her, and even now, I’ll sometimes tidy up a messy trolly rack, in her memory.

    It’s things like that in my life that let me know that I’ll never forget her, even if I tried. She is a part of me, and that’s a wonderful, reassuring thing.
    Hanging in there, one day at a time.

    #2
    I sense a book coming out... beautiful words.
    Feeling emotional tonight and your words certainly helping me to let the cry out. I think I have to remember I'm definately not the first and unfortunately not the last person on the planet to grieve.
    How at one point can everything make so much sense and there is happiness all around and the next you can't explain anything and feel stuck and hopeless.
    Lovely to hear how Ezri has affected your life so positively xx

    ​​​

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Tess,
      I'm glad my writing helped.
      People say it feels like a hole in your heart, but I think it feels more like a vacuum in your heart. There's not only nothing there, but it wants to suck everything else in to the void as well. All happiness, all drive and ambition, desire... everything is tainted by the nothingness. Some day, many days actually, I find it hard to find meaning in doing things.
      Pen
      Hanging in there, one day at a time.

      Comment


        #4
        My daughter died aged 9 months, my mother 62 years old. Death is a fact deal with it.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by matthew55 View Post
          My daughter died aged 9 months, my mother 62 years old. Death is a fact deal with it.
          That’s a bit harsh and insensitive Matthew. We all deal with grief in our own way.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by miranda View Post

            That’s a bit harsh and insensitive Matthew. We all deal with grief in our own way.
            That's a bit harsh and insensitive Christine, aka Miranda. Matthew is struggling too.
            Copyright Graham

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