Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Nobody knows

Nobody here knows about March 5. Nobody knows that's the day that changed my life forever. The day that I lost the man who raised me as his own daughter. The day a part of me died.

I keep thinking that it will get easier. And perhaps it has. The pain is less sharp. The grief less crippling. But it's still there. And every year, I try to fight it. But at the end of the day, it's like I've worn a rain jacket into the ocean. There's just too much of it. It washes over me, cold waves that leave me gasping for breath. I surface only for a moment, bobbing on the next crest before being sucked under again.

But nobody here knows. They didn't know that it took every single ounce of energy I had to get off my couch tonight and be around other people. They don't know that the worship songs I sang felt like gravel in my mouth--hard and gritty. They don't know that as I drove home I sobbed, waiting for the clock to turn to midnight, so I could say the day was officially over.

They don't know because I don't tell them. How does that just come up in conversation? "Hey, did you know that my stepdad died five years ago today?" I hate the uncomfortable looks that come with that conversation. The mixture of pity and surprise that I'm not "over it" yet. What does that even mean? Will I ever be over it? Should I be?

Thirty-nine minutes ago, March 6 came. March 5 faded away, until next year. But this grief I feel has little respect for the calendar. It cannot be confined to this one day a year. On that day, though, it gains strength. For a day, I can't forget.


Anonymous Vicki Small said...

Brandy, I also take a long time to "get over" such losses, to the extent that one gets over them. To the extent that remembering no longer takes a toll on me; just a brief hint of an old grief. Getting to that point in a more healthy period of time (as opposed to 12 or 13 years) requires that I grieve--really grieve--more than one day a year. That I allow myself to wallow in it, when I'm not having to be at work or other places where I need my mind and strength for other things. A group of people who are, themselves, in varying stages of grief can be so very helpful. Friends of mine are very active in a local Compassionate Friends group, since the death of their youngest child. If you google that name, I'm sure you'll find that a group exists in your area.

There are other kinds of grief-related support groups. There might even be one meeting at your church, or one near you. I encourage you to look into it, even though I know a part of you will feel guilty about wanting to get past the serious grief. The only way to do that, though, is to walk through it--preferably, with people who have done or are doing the same. God is ready, anytime, to hold you while you cry or rage, and He has others appointed to do the same. God bless you!

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Vicki Small said...

I remembered a book I highly recommend: "A Grief Observed," by C.S. Lewis. It's an account of his own struggle through grief after his wife died. It was initially published under a pseudonym and a different title. After his own death, it was republished. A good friend of mine found it helpful after his wife died, two years ago.

10:06 PM  

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