This week I have had some feedback that got me thinking about the weirdness of grief and this whole process. How one minute I can be a sobbing basket case on the floor, and the next laughing with someone about something stupid. One day I’m desperately sad and missing Claytie because it’s been two and a half years since he has been gone, and the next day I am out with a friend having a good time. I get that it’s a weird thing… trust me!!! It’s all kinds of crazy in my head too , but it turns out that it’s not only normal, apparently it’s actually quite healthy!
People that are much smarter than me have done a whole bunch of research into this, and their theory involves ‘loss -oriented’ and ‘restoration-oriented’ sides to grief. They are kind of self explanatory.
Loss oriented grief is triggered by memories of the person who died. You are filled with sadness remembering good times, looking at photos, doing things that remind you of your person. It might be seeing someone or something that makes you remember a special moment, or passing someone in the shops who is wearing a similar shirt or cologne. Loss oriented grief brings up sadness, anger and loneliness… it is the really hard part of grief.
Restoration oriented grief is exactly what it sounds like. It is doing things that distract you from your grief so that you can get on with the day to day things that have to happen for life to go on. Things like chores around the house, work and even social activities or watching tv. It’s a case of repressing just enough of the hard emotions so that you can still function the way you need to in your world and restore some normality.
There are also the more well known ‘5 stages of grieving’. Most people have heard of them – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It used to be thought that these were a linear progression, but they are definitely not… they also don’t come with an end date! They fit themselves into the process wherever they like. Sometimes rationally, other times not so much.
Then there is the oscillation between these processes – the Yin and Yang of grieving. The experts believe that it is important to embrace both sides of the process so that you can tackle the reality of your loss and grief bit by bit. It makes a whole lot of sense to me, and I can absolutely relate to the oscillation! That is my life at the moment!
So much research has been done about all kinds of things that make us human, and I guess that’s important; but none of it really covers each individual experience. I can relate to a lot of the things that I have read about and they make a whole lot of sense to the overall picture. None of them feel like they are enough to explain the huge emptiness inside of me since Claytie died tho. They don’t cover the personal-ness of my grief, of my loneliness, of my anger at the unfairness that the most amazing person in my world is gone; and I hate that there are some people who should know me, who are not able to see past themselves to understand the whole picture of my life now.