Thursday, January 03, 2013

Good Grief: Lessons.

My big sister Patti on the left, me on the right.

i keep thinking of what i have learned this past year from grief and my Favorite Mental Health Professional. What with losing my sister in March it was a pretty intense year that way, leading to many posts with the word "grief" in the title. i think it boils down to a few simple (yet profound) things.

1- Give yourself permission to feel all the attending feelings when they come. This means you may have the blubbering-est face in the universe, you will find depths of snot you never knew you were capable of (where does all that come from??) but you gotta do it. If you don't let it out it just stays in there and festers like that stupid sliver you got when you slid down the railing your mother told you not to.

2- Write about it. There are lots of things i didn't even know i felt until i started writing. Talk about pulling my finger out of the hole in the dam! Damn.

3- There's no right way to grieve. Yes there are "steps" like denial and anger and all that, but they are really more just "pieces" of grief, and they come randomly and often all together in a big flurry. And how it feels at that moment is just what you gotta feel to get through it.

This may sound too basic somehow, but trust me on this one, it's the truth of it. i've long struggled with thinking i had to make sure i wasn't bothering anyone else with how i felt, but who wants a festering splinter in their bum?

i talked about "clean grief" in this past year of loss--i know it was partly because there was no major weirdness between my sister and i, so i was able to just feel the loss. There wasn't all the "i shoulda" and "why didn't they?" stuff that can follow along in other more complicated relationships we grieve. And since for the first time i felt free to just follow the tide of emotions, be sadder than sad, be so pissed off at life at God at my parents at my brother, was really cleansing.

Mostly i'm tired from it, and i'm still sad about Patti not being in my world. And i guess i wanted to share these few things because if i didn't know about them, maybe somebody else out there needs to read them too.

Skimmer's Recap: Grieving: it's good. Do it.

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