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Maybe grief feels like this………
Grief is, because love is #16
It has been said, and I have said it myself, that grief is a critical ‘thing’ that we need to go through after we have suffered a loss. Therefore, grief is something to be expected. When we say such things, people who may be going through grief may not be comforted by such a statement. In fact it could be the opposite. “This is really hard; the hardest thing I have ever had to face. The world is so dark. I don’t want it. You cannot possibly know how I feel.”
These are absolute valid thoughts and feelings.
The thought occurred to me as I was weeding our front garden patch the other day, the weeds I was pulling up might be a useful picture for someone reading this. However, it may be unhelpful to others, as our grief journeys are very unique and individual.
In my garden patch there were the big weeds. You know the ones that you can pull out easily, and normally you can shake the dirt of them without much problem? If my garden only had these weeds, life would be a little easier. But then there are the small ones. The ones that clump together to form a kind of ‘weed mat’ that no matter how hard you shake, the dirt just does not come off. In fact what ends up happening is that I will just toss the ‘mat’ into the garden bin, which now, because of all the dirt, has become quite heavy. These type of weeds are often prolific and quite frustrating, and take ages to get rid of.
Can this be a picture of grief? Maybe the big weeds are a bit like the significant days, birthdays, Christmas, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, wedding anniversary, or anniversary of the day. Particularly the first event after the loss. You know they are coming, and you may even prepare a little for them. The day comes and goes, you survive it and life continues.
But we still have the matted weeds, and there are so many. And it does not matter what we do, we cannot shake ‘the dirt off.’ Maybe this a picture of the day to day experiences of grief. Pulling the bigger weeds out leaves a patch of good earth, but it is way to much effort to get rid of the mat that remains. And so we will leave it, and come back to it another day. But every time you come ‘home’ the patch is looking at you. Those moments in the middle of the night when you are oh so lonely. The nights seem to take forever, and you do not want to face the day.
But there is another thing about weeds; and believe it or not, the most manicured lawn is in fact a weed; weeds are plants and they are life. They provide food and shelter for life that we cannot see; I know that our chooks love weeds.
Our garden bin will be picked up by council this week, and the bin will be empty again. Then on to another garden bed. But we do not throw our grief in the bin. Grief is full of memories, life adventures, experiences, togetherness that we do not want to discard. They are critical to our ongoing well-being. But when you are in the midst of it, feeling overwhelmed and devastated all such words can feel meaningless. I trust, just maybe this ‘weed’ analogy may have helped, just a little.
The commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional.
Photo made freely available by https://www.maxpixel.net.