Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Good Grief

As I write this, it has been just under a week since my sweet Grandpa succumbed to leukemia after a very short bout.

I was very thankful to be with him the afternoon before he passed and was able to say my final goodbye, as my gut was telling me I wouldn't see him alive again. I am also thankful that he had family there with him right up until the end.
So, a peaceful exit for Grandpa and then let the mourning begin for the rest of us. It is always interesting to see how mourning and grief manifest themselves, especially in my own life. This time, I mostly did a lot of "grief-eating" which is like stress eating except sadder. I also just wanted to sit around and stare...a general malaise, really. Very hard to do when you have a toddler.

Because of hospital visits and drives over to Santa Cruz and generally putting life on hold for the moments at the edge of a family member's death, I began to fear all the things I wasn't getting done in my work life, home life and ministry life. 

Yesterday I had a mini anxiety attack while driving my husband to work. My chest constricted, my stomach nearly had a revolt, and I began to panic and cry. I worried that allowing myself all this time (which was really a couple of days) to grieve, I was losing all my good habits and rhythms I had worked so hard to establish. But surely taking time to grieve is healthy!

I still am struggling with how one grieves while maintaining some sort of rhythm and momentum. Part of me feels that when someone dies, that I kind of want to stop too. Unfortunately, life doesn't allow us stop for long, especially those of us with children and/or jobs (which I'd venture to say is most people). 

I guess it's okay if my momentum is a bit slower and halting of gait as I move ahead with my life while missing my grandpa. The suddenness of his death was shocking and the reality of it has perhaps only begun to sink in.

Rest in peace, Grandpa. You continue to be very loved.