Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Two Good Articles On Grief

Lately, I had been feeling...blah.

It was like everything had gone beige.  Nothing seemed particularly exciting, and a lot of things felt pointless. 

My Mom died April, 2010.  She had what we thought was a lung infection, that she hadn't been able to shake for several months.  Then she caught a nasty flu bug that my kids, husband and I had in February, and the fever that came with it never went away. 

I won't go into detail about this again.  I have written all the painful details HERE

What I have come to realise is this:  in this whole grief process, one expects to move through certain stages in a logical pattern.  The sad part is, that most people around you will expect you to move on, to be strong.  There is an unspoken time line for this to occur, but it is definitely there. 

After a certain amount of time, crying becomes less acceptable; like you really only had the right to that luxury within the first few weeks after the death of that loved one.  If you don't cry in front of anyone, people will marvel over how "strong" you are. 

People will offer you many platitudes about your suffering.  You will be urged to look on the bright side of the death of that person you loved so dearly.  Your grief may even be overlooked to a certain extent; measured against other deaths in the world. 

I had heard many times that the "death of a partner" is one of the most difficult deaths to deal with.  But what about the fact that she was my MOTHER, and a very important person in my life besides that? 

So, I had been moving along logically, like a good griever, through all of my stages.  I could practically check them off with a pen. 

That is, until reaching that one year later mark. So, I did some googling, as I am wont to do, and found two good articles on grief. 

One is called "Grief, Healing and the One-to-Two Year Myth." by Karen Carney.

From the first article, I realised I'm not cuckoo. Hooray, how nice to know. Basically, after all that scrambling around during the first year to regroup and reorganise, what is left are feelings of profound sadness. 

The other is "When your mother dies" by Rona Maynard:

"My mentors prepared me for the passage rite ahead. In my mother's deserted house, as I stuffed endless garbage bags with bric-a-brac that she had treasured and no one else would want, I knew other daughters had faced the same heart-piercing duty. I belonged to a sisterhood now—one every woman must eventually join unless her mother outlives her."

Hopefully these articles will bring someone else comfort as well, and if they do, well, that makes me happy.


  1. thinking of you...i can't relate, but i am thinking and caring.

  2. My Dad died 8 years ago now. For me, I still feel like a kid when I want my Dad and even more so he can't be with me and my family and my kids.

  3. Good post. Having your parents die leaves you feeling like the very earth beneath your feet is not solid. I am not sure you ever really get over it. I know that I haven't and my parents have been gone a long time.

  4. Ah, people mean well, but still say all the wrong things, don't they? I'm so glad those articles brought you some comfort. So sorry for your loss. :( I'm fortunate enough to have both of my parents alive, but I get choked up thinking about the day when.... ((HUGS)) to you.

  5. of course you are going to feel sad and cry sometimes, it means you love her and she was a great mom, what would be crazy about that?!my father died about a year ago, and since i did not see him for years, i kind of felt nothing, and do not miss him, i think that is pretty sad...

  6. :( I will read them when I am not at I can not cry again at work...people will think I am crazy.
    Grief bites the big one. 11 years ago we slammed by it and ya know what...11 years later I can barely THINK of it with out sobbing. "timelines" were brought to us by people who dotn understand the pain of losing our loved ones. Even with my Grandparents...they died 14 years ago...and just on Sunday I was a wreck thinking about them and how they never got meet my husband, my kids....I can think of them more and more with out het tears and such pain...but it still hits me like a brick sometimes. Your moms passing was a shock. A HUGE one. "they" say time heals...bah what do "they" know? Moms are our staple in life. This is something you will never get over or stop crying about. People in general are very uncomfortable with death therefore it never really gets get dealt with out in the open and it causes poepleto say some really dump things. I am even guilty of this...the who wanted to puke at MIckeys funeral from all the dumbass things that wre being said. "your sister will have moer kids..." "it was meant to be..." "God has a plan.." WTF?
    So sorry for you loss Karen. I know how much this sucks ass for you and you family. I miss her too.
    okay I am at work....

  7. I spent the weekend with my Mom at the beach. And although we got on each other's neves, I'll give her a call today and tell her that I love her in honor of your Mother.
    Your Friend, m.

  8. Oh, honey, I am so sorry. I don't know what kind of grief you are feeling, but I do know that you are an amazing woman.

    My thoughts are with you.

  9. When I look at Charlotte I feel most sad about Mom. Charlotte is three. Mom died the day after Charlotte's birthday... Mom was CRAZY about Charlotte... and when I see Charlotte do crazy things Mom would get SUCH a kick out of her.

  10. Oh man, Karen, I sure hope I wasn't on that list of people who meant well, but had useless platitudes...

    I often joke about how my parents will statistically outlive me, but logic of course has no bearing on that at all. Death is not logical or rational. It is simply sad. Death is not how things should be and we know it in our bones.

    I think the strength and courage is in the grief itself, not the lack of it.

    Okay, that's enough Matt.

  11. thanks Melissa. That's more than good enough.

  12. dbs, I'm sorry about your Dad. I think about how much my kids will remember of my Mom, and of course about a million other little things as well.

  13. Laoch, that's what I found through some recent reading--that whole 'orphan complex' that comes with losing parents. Aptly put about the ground.

  14. thanks Maria. If anyone knows about well-intentioned people with their feet in their mouths, it's you.

  15. Paula, it is what it is. Grief doesn't have to be about crying, but I can see why this is troubling to you, because it's just a damn shame, right?

  16. Oh Steph, I think of you and your family often, and those sad days you've all lived. "Your sister will have more kids". Sheesh. That's tantamount to "hurry up and stop crying. You're making me uncomfortable."

  17. Ah Mark, you made me cry earlier in the day when I read this. Very touching.

  18. Thank you Ms. Suniverse. What kind words.

  19. Word, sista. I think about that too. Then one day, our girls will tell someone that they didn't really know their grandmother, because they were "really young."

    Waaa! Bummer festival!

  20. Matt, that was DEEP. I'll have to read that again when I'm not already wallowing in wallow-ville.

    As I recall, you offered no useless platitudes :)

  21. my dad died 20 + years ago and I still miss him --painfully at times...grief never goes away, when someone dies it changes you.

    stumbled onto your blog via Minka's blog, glad I visited.

  22. it does indeed change you, tz. Well said. I'm glad you stopped by too :)

    p.s. I'm sorry about your dad.

  23. Thanks. Good to know.

  24. i feel like i don't even have the right to comment on this post. i haven't had my world shaken like that yet.
    but i love you.


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