Grieving is an exhausting business.
Apparently if you’re completely stuffed by day’s end, you’re travelling ok. Good to know. That Dad isn’t here is unfathomable. My mind doesn’t comprehend that reality. Does not compute. Not yet, anyway. Thanks to the natural sedative my body is producing that, for now, keeps me in a safe, foggy, bubble. How the body and mind respond to grief is fascinating and remarkable. At the moment I don’t feel particularly sad, or ache, although I expect that will come when the numbness wears off. In the week leading up to the final week with Dad, I howled morning and night. Now the tears are less frequent and have changed to hot, fat, salty, silent, rocking sobs, gone as quickly as they arrive. It’s weird. I can still function, still smile, talk, and even laugh. Still appreciate a beautiful, sunny day. I’m sleeping like a log and swinging between eating comfort carbs like a horse and nothing at all. Mostly I feel detached, as though I’m watching myself from the other side of the room. Watching and waiting. Yes, it’s an exhausting, strange, curious business.
The most comforting learnings so far are that: my grief experience will be unique – just as my relationship with Dad was unique; there’s no “right” way to grieve; it’s not a linear process through the “seven stages of grief” – I may go through all of them, skip over a couple, or re-visit a few; it’s important to be gentle with myself as I grieve – eat well, exercise, rest, keep warm, etc.; and finally, that it’s important to be open to, and even welcome, the grieving process. It’s a gift of healing, and I also think it’s a way to honour Dad, and glorify the Great Comforter.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) [NIV]