Sunday, February 20, 2011

My grief will not define me

The emotions of grieving are so very difficult.  People often say how strong I am ... is that meant as a compliment or a criticism? When I'm feeling the weight of my grief, I feel guilty for wallowing in it. I know that Vern would not want that at all. When I'm feeling somewhat 'normal' I feel guilty for not grieving 24/7. Does that give the impression I'm happy to be a widow and I'm finished with grieving? That couldn't be further from the truth.  I miss Vern every moment of every day.

It will be 5 months on Tuesday. How should I be feeling? I read a lot of other widow blogs and there is a huge variety of grief expressed. Some I can relate to, others I just can't at all. I don't want to become identified by my grief years down the road. Vern's memory deserves better than that.

I am who I am because of our 41 years together. And caring for him for the 4+ years after multiple myeloma entered our lives brought out something in me I didn't know was there. We faced so very many battles together during that time, so many hospitalizatons, surgeries, critical issues. He was definitely not the 'normal' MM patient, and I've been told I wasn't the 'normal' caregiver either. The closeness we always shared was emphasized during the cancer battle. Our life story is unique to us, so I guess it makes sense that my grieving will be unique. And my faith assures me that I will see Vern again and that helps me to move forward.

I see my "new" life as a tribute to Vern.  I talk to him often and I listen for his answers to come in a variety of ways.  They always do.


jaloysisus said...

Your grief does not define you, Dianne. What defines you is your compassionate understanding of what it is like to grieve the loss of a loved one.

Craig said...

Hi, Dianne! I wish for you that you will allow yourself to put away the shoulds... and just notice what happens. There is no "right" way to do this, and your honor and respect for Vern are not in question, no matter how you feel or what you do! Nothing whatsoever to feel guilty about!

Anonymous said...

If there is ever a day that you think that you are alone, all you have to do is visit this page and see that there are over 6 thousand souls that you and Vern have touched. Enough to care. Enough to visit you and try to help you through the pain. It must seem like forever since you could hold him in your arms but sweetheart,it has only been a few moments in time. There is no time limit on grief and you have to be who you are and don't be rushed because someone else thinks it's been long enough.....God Bless and keep you

Boo said...

Good for you. Right now it is perfectly okay if your grief is all that is ... I remember in the early days grief was all I could feel, taste, speak and know. After time, a balance started to figure in my life ... and it was at that point that I no longer felt it necessary to mention that I'd been widowed. And I realized that grief no longer defined me ... it was so good to realize that fact - it showed me that I was moving onwards (sometimes back, sideways, three steps forwards and twenty back!) No matter ... it had stopped being my "all" and my "state" - it had stopped defining me :-) I'm so proud of how you are realizing all this stuff on an intellectual basis so fast - you are much smarter than I <3 xxx

Raj... said...

Like every individual, every grief is also different and hence the way to react, respond and finally come to a healing state is also different. What I feel is , we have a fix quota of good and bad things in our life. Need to less that noone would ever wish to get rid of good things , so if we try to escape out (by the way that is also not possible) we will keep on getting our grief in pieces througout our life. So the only way to get rid of grief is to walk thru it. Staying present to the current moment and accepting the reality is termed as well begining.

living with ourself is better than living alone..