The Holidays. So many people have to venture through these emotional landmine filled days with fresh hurts and solid memories of loved ones lost. Combine that with the expectation that this is, “The most wonderful time of the year” and you have a recipe for sadness wrapped in bitterness with a nice numb sauce. I know, “Stop with all of the feel good stuff” you say. Fear not, there is good news.
The other day I was in Aldi doing some grocery shopping. I noticed the toys that were put in the center aisle. I flashbacked to years ago when Trey would love to look at each and every one. Every time I would go shopping Trey would ask I was going to Aldi because he wanted to go with me. So, this day I remember those days. However, rather than a sledgehammer to the stomach moment, I was left with a sweet memory. It hit me that I don’t really have those horrific “I can’t breathe” moments anymore.
Fast forward to a few days ago. I’m at my brothers. We’re learning how to give my dad is IV meds through his pic line. As the nurse explains all of the instructions and precautions I am taken back. All of a sudden I am in a hospital room with some horrific physicians assistant/nurse practitioner/whatever who was telling us everything that could go wrong with Trey in his first year of treatment. She went on to show us what to watch out for regarding his Broviac line (a fancy/complicated IV line), what infections might occur, how to handle line breakage, how to flush and work with blocked lines etc. No, this didn’t take my breath away, it felt like an anvil on my head.
Too soon? I use that term a lot but in this case, you’re dadgummed right it was. Almost six years passed and I felt the raging heat of disorientation/fear/ and anger all in my head again as if it was the first time. The realization of how overwhelming that this was going to be was all too fresh.
I was so happy and relieved that so much of the pain of Trey’s death was subsiding. I suppose that I still am. However, there are still sneaky hurts from the past that still surface. There is the loss of the loved one. Yet, there are also the pains from the process of losing…the loved one. Both need to be grieved.
The process of grieving is the same for both. In a safe, trusted relationship share the hurts from the past. Allow the other person to join you in your emotion. Hopefully, the will have an ability to comfort and not fix, judge, be selfish, or ignore you. Allow yourself to feel those emotions and appreciate the comfort that is offered to you. Done properly, this is why group therapy can work so well. However, we are designed to share one another’s burden. I pray that you find someone who will sit, listen, and grieve with you. You deserve it.