Uncertain

After a blog entry last week that was written about how it was three years ago that day that I had taken a note my son wrote about wanting to die to our doctor, I received a private message. This message was, I’m sure, well intentioned and meant to help me but it has, instead, caused quite a bit of conflicted thoughts.

The sentiment of the message is one that has been voiced to me before in the 2 and a half years since my son’s death. It’s a message that states that I need to let go; I need to stop dwelling on the loss and the hurt and that I need to move on and put this behind me. that, of course, it’s ok to grieve and to remember (and even to write about mental health issues) but that, by bringing up the past and reliving and “celebrating” and “honouring” the dates that are associated with painful memories I am simply self-inflicting torment on myself. That I, and my actions, are the cause of me continuing to be having a hard time with grief.

Good point, and one that gives me pause to wonder. I have seen parents lose children and turn that loss into an all-consuming life path to the exclusion of anything else in their life it seems. I was at a mental health symposium last year and met a couple of mothers who had given up careers and everything to make the crusade for their child’s death “mean something” a focal point in their lives. Conversations were only on their children and their deaths. There was nothing else in their lives seemingly.

I guess, if someone only read my blog here, they may assume that my life is like that. That all I ever write about or talk about is loss and missing Willie and how hard it is “after”. The truth is though that while that is in my life, my life is about so much more. My other blog, lolabits , is one of all-encompassing “life to the fullest”. Silliness and heavy topics abound in equal parts over there. Those who are friends with me on Facebook know that the vast majority of my posts are the here and now and that my life is very much with an awareness that joy is a part of that. So is the grief though and sometimes that is shared too. But not as much as the person who messaged me seems to think.

There is a balance that is walked in loss. A balance between being told not to bottle things up, that it’s healthy to express grief and to talk about it and to heal however you need to… and the flip side of being told to put it behind you and not “dwell” (oh how I love that suggestion).. to not make every day about missing him (when the reality is that every day it is simply there, that he is gone)… You need to let it out and feel it… you need to just not think about it… you need to remember… you need to forget…

I have lost friends who I just cannot have in my life anymore because I know that they don’t agree with how I grieve. I have had friends who have told me that “for my own good” I need to be told to stop the “pity party” and be made aware that this blog is just me indulging my grief and contributing to depression. These friends are no longer in my life like they were.

Which, after the message last week, makes me question if I should continue with this blog. I question what the purpose of it is. Is any good coming of it? Is it doing anything to promote understanding or acceptance and education about mental health issues? Probably not. IS it merely a vessel for me to indulge a pit party of grief? I don’t see that but then again, would I, if it was that?

I have been told that I need to accept that my life will go on with grief and hurt as a part of it. Plain and simple. That it won’t go away. That I will learn to live with it and not have it be the biggest part. I already know that. The grief and the hurt are there but, and this is a big one for me, but my life has joy and promise even so.

I’m not sure about the future of this blog right now. If the purpose it is serving is to help me process then it’s becoming apparent that more than a few in my life may be feeling like the person who wrote the message and telling me it’s time to shut it down and just do it privately because everyone is tired of hearing it.

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3 thoughts on “Uncertain

  1. Your blog helps people like me who are not as far on the grief path. It makes us feel normal and gives us hope for better days ahead. Write for me, write for you, write just for the heck of it but don’t stop writing because of someone’s criticism.

  2. I sense your confusion and the message you took in is something I believe most people who are grieving deal with. Whether it’s 3 months or 3 years later, people who are not on this journey want us to “move on.” I realize that you saw this as a “good point” and I remember going through a gamut of feelings like yours. Anger that they didn’t understand the pain and forgiveness for those that didn’t have the words to comfort me – come to mind. Perhaps my last message of a suggestion to help healing by writing to your doctor falls into that category. I do believe healing is possible and mine came when I wrote my honest feelings – not by holding back my words because it depressed others.
    I have been on my grief journey a long time and with those same feelings I became adept at burying my grief. I didn’t even realize it. I just put the feelings aside and pretended to be normal for years and years. I was numb and don’t believe I was able to experience joy in life that way. After almost 2 decades, I wrote honestly again about my grief and it brought joy back for me and sensations of feeling again.
    So I would only encourage you to write your blog for yourself. Those people who want you to move forward cannot understand how healing this is. Part of the beauty of a blog is that honesty because there are other grieving people who cannot express those feelings that you do in such an eloquent way. I wish I had continued to write all the years that I suppressed my feelings.
    You are an excellent writer and I do not see you as wallowing in grief at all. Your heart aches and you express yourself beautifully. Don’t stop.

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