Grief and Loss

The Crazies 

OK seriously… This Grief process sometimes drives me absolutely bonkers crazy!

Today, it was about how sensitive I can be… And how being that sensitive can totally and completely crash me from “OK” to floundering in the deep water, with waves lapping over my face. It can crush me. Break me. Ruin me. Frustrate me beyond anything I could express. 

Grief makes me second guess going out and trying to do something productive on my “good” days… Out of fear of the unknown… The potential (OK probability) of me getting overwhelmed by the selection of  something as simple as noodles in a grocery store. 

It seems silly, I know… But think of the noodle types, brands, prices, shapes, colors, sizes… You name it… It’s sitting there 6 feet high and 10 feet long worth of row after row of noodles. 

I stand there practically screaming inside my head “they are noodles Kirsten! You will cook them, people will eat them…nobody cares about this. It is NOT a big decision”. 

Yet, somehow, it is to me. (I know, I’m my own worst enemy… Aren’t we all?) The noodle selection leads to frustration and being overwhelmed. Then anxiety and fear and more frustration pack more weight onto my already stressed mind. Then I feel like I can’t breathe and panic and decide to just grab a box and escape to the checkout line. And I feel so frustrated and disappointed as I walk to the car with my bag of noodles… All that stress and worry and overwhelmed-ness… Was in vain. Because when the time came to pick… It all didn’t matter. I grabbed the noodles closest to my hand…and ran. 

As I said… Grief drives me crazy and absolutely bonkers sometimes. 

Or how about the time recently when I made plans to try to go help a friend with something I knew would be difficult. I knew people had backed out and I had a skill set to help her. I got up early. It was a rough day. But I was determined to try. I even hired a babysitter. Got dressed and even brushed my hair. I got there a little late, but nothing terrible, and at first was welcomed with open arms. I helped where I could and when I got done with that job I felt accomplished, successful, maybe even a little excited (gasp!) for what the next hours held. I asked what else I could do to help get next, and was basically told (in the nicest way possible, let me note) that I was of no further use and there were a lot of people coming in and so I could leave. 

Hearing those words “there’s nothing else I need you to help with so you can just go”… Crushed me. I felt overwhelmed with dissapointment, anger, frustration, hurt. With her. With me. I stayed a few minutes… I suppose to see if my friend had changed her mind , hoping, praying that I’d be “needed”… Or at least “wanted”, but alas, the invitation to stay never came. And so, with a heavy heart and a broken spirit…I left. 

I waked across that parking lot completely doubting myself. “Why did she ask me to leave?” “I’ve planned to do this to help her for over a month, as long as it was a ‘good day’ for me… For what?!?!” I could feel the devil trying to turn her words all around in my heart and put the blame on me- she needed me to leave because I was so awful. Because I couldn’t smile. Because I was a failure. Because she had ‘better’ people than little old broken me.

These echoed loudly in my head. I tried to fight them. I did, honest. But my weak whispers against the roars of a lion…they failed. Should  I have trusted God to get me through? Yes. Should  I have prayed? Yes. But in those moments I didn’t know even where to start. My spirit was crushed. When your listening to what Satan so deafeningly says of you… It’s so hard to stop listening long enough to call on God. To hear His whispers amidst the shouting and noise. 

Grief drives me absolutely crazy bonkers sometimes. 

It’s like living through your heart instead of through your mind. You know logic but you act on your heart. And the two just can’t connect. 

I drove home and let the tears come… Slowly and quietly down my cheeks as I listened to the thousand reasons swirling in my head as to “why I do not need to be there to help”.

Don’t get me wrong… It wasn’t my friend who was in the wrong… She had no idea! It was me and it was a trigger and suddenly my “good” day was utterly and completely flipped upside down. It took hours to recover to be able to function again. I don’t  think I even eeked out a half a smile for the next day and a half.

 It killed me. 

Should it have ruined me? Ruined my day? No. 

But it did.  ‘Should’ or ‘shouldn’t’… It just did. 

And that, my dear friend, is grief at it’s craziest and most frustrating. Allowing Satan to go on ruining ‘good days’ when you try to be productive and go do things… hindering you on ‘good days’ out of fear of the “what ifs”… Making you think that a selection in the noodle aisle is a reflection on who you are and how you’re doing with this grief thing.

Well, let me tell you that nobody has yet judged me solely based on my noodle selection (and yes, one day I mixed both macaroni noodles and penne together and nobody said a word…) . 

Grief is crazy and bizarre and unexpected and absolutely crazy bonkers a lot of the time. 

I cry when I least expect it. Triggers hit me when I’m not expecting them. I get overwhelmed and shakey in the oddest of places. I get hurt so easily. I let others judge how I will feel today. I feel like a failure on bad days. 

Grief is anything but “politically correct” as the term goes… But it’s mine. It’s real. It’s raw. It hurts. But then, by Gods grace,  it heals… 

Healing comes, though, over time, throigh challenges, and in unexpected ways… Healing starts. Priorities change, perspectives change, life begins again in a whole new way. You have to learn who you are again (and much of that is a messy process). 

There is a quote I have found much comfort in throigh this crazy, mixed up journey…

“Grief never ends… But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith… It is the price of love.”

— Unknown

It is the price of loving my little Philip. It is the price of loving my little Jeddediah. It is the price… Of loving myself.

Grief is the price you pay out of love for your sweet one. It is the price you pay for loving yourself and allowing you to go through grief. 

Grief is born of love. And deep grief comes from even deeper love. 

God bless.

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