Good Mourning

Grief is complex and often times confusing. Today is the six month anniversary of my sister Natalie’s death from addiction. Six months. Six? As in 6, 6? Like 1,2,3,4,5,6? My how the time flies when your stuck in an endless loop of sadness… In a therapy group meeting, I mentioned that today would be a difficult day for me, given the occasion. Around the room I heard gasps and whispers, I saw eyes widen and heads shake. Someone made a statement akin to what I just expressed and… I, I was offended.

“What do you mean, 6 months already?”

Just what I said, how can you not know what I mean? How can you question the validity of my statement? Haven’t you felt her absence every second of every day? I feel like I have.

But what’s the point?

Here’s what I’ve learned in therapy:

Emotions. E-Motion. Emotions are guides to helping us understand what we need. The things we need to do. It puts the “motion” in emotion.

Fear is about keeping us safe. You’re afraid to walk down a dark alley in a bad part of town? Good! Don’t do it, you might get hurt.

Anger gives us the energy to make a change, to set limits and boundaries around situations or people that might be unhealthy.

Grief/Sadness? It allows us to be comforted. To bring us into relationship, at a point in time when we really need it.

I need it. I’m in a place where I’ve never before felt such intense levels of all three of those emotions, for this long of a time period.

I feel so lonely, even though I know I have lot’s of people to lean on for support… I just don’t have the energy to even reach out.

Nat’s death, especially with the holidays around the corner, is getting worse. It’s getting harder with the six month mark because I think, for me, the permanency is setting in. The holiday music is killing me. She loved Christmas and every time I got to see her, it felt like Christmas to me. I heard Mariah Carey sing “All I Want for Christmas” the other day. I’ve disliked that song since 2009, when grandma died…and not so much as dislike the song, just teary, every time I hear it, I cry myself into a little puddle.

Today we are going to a candlelight service at the Washburn – McReavy. It’s not just for our family but all of the families they’ve served this year… it just happens to fall on the exact 6 month marker. I kinda feel like I have to go.

“Why do you have to go? Can’t you just light a candle at home?”

I could, but I guess I kinda feel like how many more functions will there be where Natalie is apart of the event… I have to go. I have to celebrate her with others. I have to remind myself that death is a part of life and it’s not permanent… the separation, I mean.

I recently read a quote by Chuck Palahniuk that made me hold my breath in pause, in awe for a moment before resuming my breathing… Here it is:

chuck-palahniuk-quote

Interesting food for thought morsel, isn’t it?

What are your thoughts on grief or emotions in general? I’d love to hear about it or fell free to share a story in memory of a loved one in the comments section below!

Thanks…

“Thanks for the memories even though they weren’t so great” -Fall Out Boy

Over the weekend my email was hacked. I’m borderline computer literate at best and didn’t figure it out until I got 50+ bounce back emails and one angry letter, which at the time, I wasn’t sure was directed at me for my blog posts or in regards to the shit ton of spam I unknowingly unleashed into unsuspecting mailboxes.

Now what? I didn’t really know what that meant. Thank God for Geek Squad protection. It’s a necessity for me. I went to the online help and had a tech remotely search, scan, delete, fix and update everything. It took almost three hours. But, I had a professional do it, so I know it was done right. I changed my password and didn’t give it a second thought.

Until today. Today, I checked my bank balance and was in the hole by $85. WHAT THE HELL?! I look at the transactions and immediately see the problem. There was a charge for $49.99 and a charge for $59.99 both from Scottsdale, AZ.

I immediately start bitching about the injustices of the world when Don cut me off, mid sentence. “Are you sure YOU didn’t make those purchases in your sleep?” The nerve of hi- oh, wait. I have done shit like that haven’t I… Fuck. So, I’m thinking. Retracing my financial steps, my sleeping habits are examined and I deduce that No, I did not make those purchases. I reasoned that when I have bought things online in my sleep, my wallet is always out, (usually tossed on the floor near my desk) my debit card lying next to the keyboard, guiltily.

There was none of that.

So, today (fairly convinced of the truth) I went to Wells Fargo to talk to a banker. I explained my situation and he asked for my driver’s license and debit card. He made a comment about Natalie’s picture on my card and I told him she was celebrating a friend’s wedding. He nodded his head and told me he needed to call the claims center and file a claim to refute the charges. Halfway through the call, he hands me the phone. The man on the other end of the line asks a couple of questions and then puts me on hold. I stare into the banker’s desk. My vision starts to get blurry and I realize this is the first time I’ve been inside the bank since I got the call about Natalie.

“Are you ok miss? Do you need a napkin?”

A napkin? Not a tissue? Wouldn’t that be more accessible? Does he have a Burger King bag next to his desk? Is he just going to grab a handful of slightly grease stained napkins and offer them to me? I’m focusing the tiniest details so I don’t have to look at the bigger picture. I’m about to break down.

Breathe, I tell myself. Look around. Find three things that are green. Grass. Leaves. Part of that guy’s tie. Three things that are blue. The sky. That sign. That advertisement. Breathe in: 1,2,3,4. Hold: 1,2,3,4. Breathe out: 1,2,3,4. Hold: 1,2,3,4. Repeat.

I’m able to blink away the tears that haven’t fallen and recover.

“Thanks, no. I’m fine.” I lied.

 

Smooth

The word of the day is smooth.

Smooth sailing.

Smooth as silk.

The opposite of rough but often times they are an integral part of each other. River rocks become smooth only after enduring the harsh elements and repeated beatings from the waves of choppy waters.

Most things have an opposite.

Light and Dark.

Good and Evil.

Love and Hate.

Is the opposite of love really hate or is it instead, love or no love?

With hate, at least there is a passion behind it.

There is a an effect taking place.

Something is causing someone to feel.

Whatever that feeling is.

I think I’d rather be hated than to feel nothing at all, like I hadn’t made the slightest difference.