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On Grieving, Feelings, and Asking For Support

I'm upset. It's not without reason, and I'm sure it's valid, but I never allow myself upset feelings. I should rephrase that. If I'm upset, I berate myself for being upset. Like some deranged Pollyanna, I need to find the good and don't allow myself totally reasonable "bad" feelings. Not without extreme guilt, anyhow.

Illustration for article titled On Grieving, Feelings, and Asking For Support

A few weeks ago, PollyDude's dad's health declined. Rapidly. He'd been fighting small cell lung cancer and partway through December, he very suddenly worsened. PD was over here when he got the call that they'd called Hospice. That was a Wednesday, and on Friday, he was given a matter of hours. He hung on, and Saturday came, and then Sunday.

On Sunday, I got a call from my father. His sister, one of my surrogate grandmothers, was in Hospice. This was the end for her. He wasn't sure when he was going to leave for where she lived as he was getting conflicting information from her kids, and wanted to be more sure of what was going on. She was unresponsive, but at home, and not in pain, and this was one of the worst conversations I'd ever had up to that point.


I really wanted to tell PollyDude what was going on, but I felt too guilty to do so, because of what he was going through with his dad. Comfort in, dump out. I also knew that he'd be mad if I didn't tell him what was going on with my family just because he was dealing with something bad. Hmm, I'm not wording that right. He wouldn't want me to make a decision "this is too much to tell you because you can't deal with my sadness since you have your own stress and grieving." And rightly so. That's offensive, to make a decision about what someone else can or can't handle. He'd be even more upset and hurt if I did have to leave and he'd had no idea what was going on.

So I texted him. It was simple and matter of fact: "my dad's sister is in hospice and I might need to go to [place]." He texted back to just keep him posted.


Whew. Glad I told him. And three minutes after that, he got the call his father died. So then I felt like an asshole again, because I can predict that and everything /sarcasm. But I DID feel that way. Comfort in, dump out. I felt guilty that I made things about me (wat) even though that's kind of bananas.

I got the call from my dad on Saturday. My aunt, his older sister, has passed away. I'm terribly sad, but I'm mostly sad for my father. I've never in my life heard him this upset, and it's very, very difficult to hear. My dad's sisters were pretty key in raising my father. His father passed away when he was an infant, and his mother had to work long hours to support them, and his grown siblings were pretty key in his upbringing. My grandmother passed before I was born, but his sisters were grandmothers to me.


I wanted to write about some of this before, but no, I can't do that. There are other people on GT going through worse, harder things. Comfort in, dump out. I can never let myself be the middle dot; I'm always outer circle. I didn't want to ask what they need from me for the bereavement time at work, because my boss' mother is very very ill. Comfort in, dump out.

The stupid thing about all of this is I didn't even TOUCH on what it was I wanted to write about before. (Grieving "wrong.")


I'm sad for my family, angry with myself, frustrated at work, and because I grieve "wrong," I can't even cry (unless it's about something totally stupid). I'm angry because I'm not going to the funeral now because parental reasons. If I step back, I get angry that I know it's dumb of me to dismiss my feelings to the point of repression for the sake of others KNOWING that other people would not think I was being selfish or making shit about me.

Comfort in, dump out.

ETA: thank you for your kind replies. I'm out of words, so I will have to respond later tonight or after I get some sleep.

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