I dislike trigger warnings, but if you don’t want to sit with a bunch of people talking about grief, please skip down to the next post.
It seems like we have a lot of GT folks dealing with recent losses lately. If you want to take a moment to drop some of your feels here so you can get through you day, please do so.
There was a really moving piece by Sheryl Sandberg that was making the rounds of FB a couple weeks ago. The thing that stuck with me was:
Even a simple “How are you?”—almost always asked with the best of intentions—is better replaced with “How are you today?” When I am asked “How are you?” I stop myself from shouting, My husband died a month ago, how do you think I am? When I hear “How are you today?” I realize the person knows that the best I can do right now is to get through each day.
I lost my grandmother about two weeks ago, the most profound loss I’ve ever experienced and likely one of the most profound of my life. We were very close. She suffered from dementia, but that was only really the last few years of her life. I had the better part of 40 years with her. Now there’s a gigantic hole torn through me. It isn’t visible, but it alternates between hurting like hell and feeling numb. This is what I struggle not to say to people. “I just lost one of the most important people in my world - I fucking watched her die - and I feel like there’s a gigantic hole ripped through me, but other than that I’m fine.” Sometimes I want to shout it, other times I want to say it very matter-of-factly to set the other person off kilter, like I want to punish them for asking.
The other thing I’ve noticed is how guilty I feel when I have a good day. I worry that I’m not grieving hard enough and maybe that means she didn’t mean as much to me as I like to tell myself. I know that’s all bullshit. This woman helped raise me. She quit smoking for me. She taught me how to cook, sew, whistle, and so many other things. I used to call her when I needed help in the kitchen. She was generally bursting with pride for me with any of my accomplishments. She wasn’t a great mother, but she was the best grandmother.
So, GT, I have a couple questions for you. How are you today? What are you trying to stop yourself from saying to people? Do you feel guilty for the good days?