Grief in fiction

I recently read a fictional story that began with three sisters discussing their Mother. Their mother had spent the 3 weeks grieving over the death of her husband and avoiding friends and social events. The daughters wanted their mother back to ‘normal’ and they needed to find a way to do it. No talk of they felt about their dad’s passing, the goal was to fix Mom now!

I was so angry, even though this was a work of fiction. I had to really think about why this bothered me so much. I think some of us do try to rush through the grief process, to get back to ‘normal.’ Most people don’t want to talk about death, or know how help those who are grieving in a healthy way. I know from personal experience, family members all grieve differently and life is never the same again. A change has happened. This is true not just for not loved ones, but for friends, pets, health issues, divorce or job loss, you grieve for what once was. It takes time to come to terms with your new reality.

My youngest son passed away at the age of 19. It was unexpected and his death changed the lives of many who loved him. The death of a child is different than that of a parent. It’s been many years now and I still think of him everyday. I used to keep myself extremely busy around the important dates such as anniversary of his death and it exhausted me. I had to find a new way to cope. I gave up planning anything, I just go with the flow I have learned to ride the grief wave. I don’t know when it will hit, usually a week before the anniversary of his death or sometimes a month before. I don’t recognize it at first, why I’m suddenly feeling so blue. Then I say ” Hello grief, my old friend” Then one morning, I will wake up and that deep sadness has slipped away. Time doesn’t heal wound completely. It’s an acceptance and I have grown for sure in a good way. We do a have choice how we react to what life throws at us. Life takes us on roads we rather avoid but there is dening it, its an adventure. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction!

Unlike that book of fiction, I did find talking to people about my grief was a great healer and I did go to grief counseling. I have a wonderful friend who phoned almost everyday for many months to see how I was doing. It helped her to too, as my son was like one of her own children. My advice, if you are experiencing a loss of any kind, seek help. There are people willing to help and to listen. I am one of them.