Life is kind and also cruel. You lose someone you love. It is not healthy to park oneself in the pit of grief and stay there, but when duties and tasks and responsibilities make us push forward with too short a pause, well then grief is delayed. It comes in spurts and waves. You swing between extremes of “he is not gone”, because your daily routine can explain the absence … to the sudden reality that he is very much gone and there is no more calling or visiting. Such extremes and so little time to process it. Oh sure they give you 3 days bereavement. That was filled with arranging the funeral, running errands to have the funeral, preparing material for it, and then delivering the message or eulogy and receiving loved ones. And for those that don’t actively participate in the service it is still the receiving family and loved ones and condolences with your best game face on. You shove all the deep thoughts to the back burner so you can muster the strength to get thru this part. And you do. And then it’s time to go back to work and life and house work and yet you are tired. You don’t know why, but you are. I mean you know why, but you had no idea it was so heavy. A big loss just occurred and you can’t even process it because now its time for another game face. You push yourself through.
Our society fails in the way of grief and mourning. Old traditions expected it took time. There was an understood respected time allotted to the bereaved that was much more than 3 days. And we wonder why we are all a mess.
Your dad died. Ok answer the nurses questions, the doctors questions, the officer and judges questions. Then the funeral home has questions
Now do this, do that, go here, dress up nice and paint your face. Next stop graveyard. Next stop the house that feels so empty but so full of family.
Next stop bed. Now wake up and go to work and engage fully as if you didn’t just lose your dad.
Oh I will think about it later. Maybe I can process it in quiet time, but you are so physically exhausted you sleep thru the quiet time of contemplating and wake up in time to work. Oh of course workload explodes. And don’t forget all those other things you have to do.
Oh yeah, brush your teeth. Don’t forget that
I write this stream of consciousness as partial therapy and partial expression of my anger with the world and our society and how little care we give to anyone bereaved. I don’t cry out for merely me , but all and each that loses a loved one and has to trudge through as if we are fine and yet we are not and then we wonder why there is so much unrest.
If you are bereaved and suffer this plight or worse because I know worse is out there, I am sorry. I care. I wish I could change it. But I hope and pray that in my heartache maybe the Maker of souls will inspire me or some other bereaved soul to help change how poorly we deal with grief in our society.
One thought on “Bereavement”
I hear you and I see you. There is never much margin for grief in our world. We want to move on, move past and get back to life as normal. However, it will never be quite the same again. My father and I had a very complex relationship, and I think I’m still trying to sort that out almost a year later. Praying for some space for you to process it all. I also think we all struggle to give ourselves permission to fall apart. Be kind to yourself and keep writing because you are putting eloquent words to so many of our feelings.