What’s True in our Minds is True
The way we mourn is as individual as we are
We always hear people say “people grieve in different ways.” Even as family, we don’t express our reactions in the same way. Some may cry alone, in secret or in the dark. One may have inappropriate behavior; perhaps it’s their way of avoiding or directing their feelings. Someone may seem more angry than sad. Some people may turn to drugs and alcohol which only delays the mourning. We shouldn’t judge the way people mourn. Everyone is mourning their own personal loss in their own unique way.Grieving is more than what you are feeling. It is how you think too. There are days when I’m just confused as hell. Perhaps it’s brought on by my refusal to accept the loss of my brother. It brings in physical responses too. When my brother just passed away, I remember feeling so sick; my whole body ached and I threw up. I still get dizzy. I experienced fast heartbeat and difficulty in breathing. I’m restless. Some days I sleep a lot; some days I can’t sleep at all. Unbearable pain is wickedly tenacious. It’s the kind of heartbreak you can always feel gnawing at your bones.
How do I mourn?
Most days I cry; I scream when I’m alone. Some days I bake. I bake like I would be catering desserts to an event. I cook a lot too (I once cooked Vietnamese Pho soup from scratch. It took almost 5 hours from start to finish). I move our furniture around the house. I have moved a very heavy china cabinet and console table by myself. I could start a moving company. I read. I have read 3 500 page books in a day on several occasions. I sit in the dark. I stay in bed, under the covers, hiding. Some days are better than the others. My favorite way of mourning? (I allowed myself to have a “list of favorite ways to mourn” like “List of favorite Sex and the City lines” or “List of favorite ugly cry movie”) My fave is when I talk about my brother. I love talking to people who knew him. It’s always nice to hear about the side of him I’ve never seen. It’s like rediscovering him. I not only enjoy the good stories; I like hearing the not so nice ones too. It makes my memory of him more whole.
Grief will try to isolate you.
Because I quit my job after my kuya passed away, I have minimal contact with the outside world. However, Jahan will never let me be alone; be it physically or emotionally. He holds me until I am spent from bawling. He lets me sleep in whenever and however long I want. He talks about Kuya Bot because he knows I love hearing about him. When he knows I’m having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, he takes me to work with him. (Jahan works with his dad from their home office. After 10 years, his dad hasn’t promoted him yet, but that’s another blog post.) I’ve known all along that I have people around me who care but since my brother’s passing, I’ve become even more grateful that they never shy away from giving free hugs. The most unexpected huggers are the best!
Grief is like an earthquake. The first one hits you and the world falls apart. Even after you put the world together again there are aftershocks and you never really know when those will come. – Author Unknown
I don’t know where I’m at in terms of the grieving process. Whenever I start to accept that my brother is really gone, I fall back to denying it. Grieving is fucking long and tiring. Some days I’m ready to throw in the towel. Most days I put my big girl pants on and say “Bring it on!”. Grieving is a sweaty sadistic bully! Just when you think the worst is over, it’ll bitch slap the living hope out of you. This particular nightmare; like every kind of nightmare, is senseless and callous. The only way to get through this long loathsome tunnel is to keep taking one ferocious …and unreasonable ……and steadfast step forward whenever you can.