It often happens this way for me, and this has been one of those weeks. Every year I'm aware of when the anniversary of my mother's death is looming and this year I thought it would be no different. Except it was. It's felt like a double whammy this time around with the passing of my brother 15 months ago on top.
With very strong emotions around his death arising earlier this week it's been a tough one. Being aware of those feelings has made me so much more acutely aware of mum passing, even though it's so long ago.
This week I have struggled with lethargy and fatigue that I identified as buried grief. It's a common theme and seems to be the way the sadness manifests for me. One I'm used to by now, but nonetheless, one that brings great sadness.
What I know now though is that both acknowledging and sitting with the feelings is what gets me through. If there's one thing I've learned since my mother's death 44 years ago, it's that this process works.
Of course, sadness is incredibly difficult to feel, but it's necessary and it's perfectly okay. There's no need to run or hide from it. There's no need to squash it down with food. It is only a feeling and it cannot hurt me. The irony is in fact that running from it certainly can.
Many times over the years my grief has shown up as hunger, wanting a drink, getting irritated with someone or something, getting sick or so busy I don't think about it. There are many ways our grief can be disguised and I became very good at it. Now that I know better however, it seems to pass more quickly. It passes because I let it in. It passes because I feel it. It passes because it's a process that has a beginning, a middle and an end.
Today, sitting here with my sadness has already eased it a little. It has allowed me to accept my feelings around their untimely deaths and the fact that they were both taken far too soon. Writing this blog post has helped me to focus on the fact that this is a normal and natural process. And, I am okay.
Knowing that my grief will follow me throughout my lifetime, believe it or not, helps too. This is not something that will ever be done and dusted; it can't be. At times, and the most unexpected of times, it will make itself known again. And, that is okay.
This too shall pass, and I will feel joy again. This is the process of grief. This is life.
Question: What pattern have you noticed about the pattern of the disguises of your grief? I'd love to know your experience. Let me know in the comments.