It comes to all of us at some point in our life. For some of us it visits many times. More times then we like.
With it comes a grayness. A lack of purpose. There are many phases to grief so they say. I think it all depends what has caused the grief and how it came about.
This past week my cousin passed rather unexpectedly to all of us who knew her. I wrote a blog about the immediate impact of the loss and of my exchanges with her. It really hit me deeply.
What has followed this week as the grief moves through my world are many questions. While one certainly can outline and decide where and how their estate is disbursed and to who, it is sometimes the approach taken that one wants to question. It is not that anything is wanted or expected even, yet one hopes they were important enough in one’s life to be left in remembrance even the smallest thing as perhaps a book.
My cousin chose to have everything, including even her personal items to be auctioned and the proceeds to go to a charity. A very noble action on her part. Yet the personal items may or may not have any value and some may have been very cherished by her long time friends or someone like me. We do not have the opportunity to even offer to buy anything from the estate. It has to go to auction and thus become like anything else at auction exposed to the community who attends. Who grabbles and bids for an item.
It all seems very cold and I think it has had a huge impact on a few of her friends, as well as me. For me there are items that have been in the family. Some of which I recall yet all that is offered to any of us are the photos.
For me it has brought back the hurtful time when my Mother passed and I had to face that she had been manipulated into changing her will so that my sister was in charge of her estate. There was not a lot in my Mother’s case yet there were things I would have liked to have. What few things I did end up with I slipped into my luggage most were items of my Dad’s which I knew my sister would toss to some uncaring person or throw away. Eventually I was allowed to have furniture pieces that were my Dad’s for which I had to pay to store and then ship. I was grateful for those although the process was painful. And for some reason the inability once again to not be able to even purchase items that I would cherish, that my cousin’s friends would cherish stirs that deep messy, uneasy feelings that come with grief.
In many ways grief is self pity. We feel for ourselves because of the loss. We feel for ourselves because we will not be able to carry through with plans or chat with the person again. We flounder around in a loss of what to do. We eat too much ice cream and waller in the sadness. Days go by as we just follow the motions of the day not really accomplishing much. Some people try to use the grief as a way to get into ones world because they are in a vulnerable state. Our strength to protect ourself is down. The veil frayed and thin.
And then we come full circle. It is not really anger we feel. Not true anger. It is though a sense of feeling of no importance to the person who has passed. I felt that with my Mother’s change of her will. It sent a message to me that I was of no importance to her because I knew she knew in heart that by changing the will to have my sister in charge, there was no way in hell I would end up with even the smallest thing. It is not one expects of a Mother.
So I am at that stage with my cousin and I feel her friends must be feeling the same. We were not acknowledged in even the smallest way. Just as I did, her friends probably felt they were important to my cousin as she was to us. Yet we are not allowed to have the smallest thing to hold onto that feeling, that memory.
Perhaps that is how she wanted it. For us to let her go and everything of her to go as well. For her world to have ended including the memory of her with her passing. It is something that has to be accepted in order to move on with life. We must let it all go and know that even the smallest item to have as a remembrance is just stuff. Memories come in the mind and heart which in the end is really all that matters. A glance at something on a shelf does not bring the person back or create new experiences, it simply is something on a shelf. Just an item.
And so it is that grief must move through us and we must face that really it is a self focused pity party. We must gather ourself, move forward and be thankful we had the opportunity to share the time with the person who now has moved on to a higher life. We must be grateful for the memories which with time, will gradually fade and so our heart mends.
In some ways that is the gift left to all of us by one who passes. That push to get on with life and live it to the fullest. To appreciate each day for what it brings. For the experiences. For the beauty of a flower we pass in the day. For the laughter of a friend. The purr of our cat. Those are the gifts that a life lost to us, brings. And what the end result of grief must bring because life can not be about the grey, it has to be about the brightness of the day. The glow. In that glow we accept the wishes of the one who has passed and we release all of our hurt feelings. We become pleased that we will not have something else to dust. We become more aware of life and what it has to offer and that is a very valuable, touching gift to be given. And for that we can be grateful because it erases the grip of grief.