Good intentions

The thing I've discovered about grief is that it is an all-consuming, selfish process. 

No matter how good my intentions are, I seem to always come up short when it comes to thinking about anything other than myself. I am forced to think about my 3 children, which takes up what little capacity I have left...so anything beyond that is completely outside my thought processes right now. I can't think past my own needs. I want to be helpful to others, I want to be a good friend, but the truth is, I just don't care right now. I'd love to be able to close out the entire world and stay under the sheets until I met Jeremy again. Nothing else matters - even when I want it to.

I try to care, but grief consumes me. I want to reach out, but then the ache in my soul starts burning too much to move. I want to connect with people and let their words heal, or draw from the experience of others, but I'm not ready to admit that anyone could feel as crappy as I do inside, or that allowing words to heal me would somehow betray my love to Jeremy. I'm not ready for that. I want the world to stop for me, I want everyone to know Jeremy's story and the man he was. I want everyone to feel the hole I feel so I don't have to try to explain it anymore. 

Right now, Grief is a reliable friend who waits for me in my bed every night even if I manage to dodge him all day. I save up all the tears I'm unable to let out in front of others for the evenings with my friend Grief. Always cruel, always unwanted, but always there. And because Grief follows me wherever I go, I find him draining and taking up all the energy I would normally use for other people.

With that said, I would like to point out that I have incredible friends. They have been my lifeline over the last few months during this unimaginable time in my life. My friends have stood by my side when I had nothing to say, helped me with the kids, been my memory for nearly everything, and have continued to be a presence even when I couldn't ask for it. I've read others' stories of friends who walked out of their life during their tragedies because they didn't know how to handle it, or they got sick of that person being a dark cloud of grief. I know that there are still the people who don't know what to say or how to help, and I get that. I'd probably be the same way. But I'm thankful for the people in my life who reach out anyway, even if they're unsure if it's helpful. Sometimes, it's not but I'm grateful all the same. And, I've made some incredible new friendships throughout this whole thing, which has been a great blessing to me. I feel like I got lucky in the friends department.

For example, I am still getting meals brought to my house, and I have yet to buy a roll of toilet paper. I'm still using some from the tons that were brought to my home the week Jeremy died, because people just stepped in and took over when I didn't know my left from my right. How amazing is that? I have a hard time asking people for help. I don't like being a burden on anyone, I've always been independent. Except when it came to Jeremy....but marriage is built that way. We were a team. I expected his help as he expected mine. I could ask him for help, the same help I refuse to ask from someone else. And the funny thing about grief is that even when I want to ask for help, I won't.

This is a horrible rambling post. I don't really know where I'm trying to go with this. I guess this is for all my friends: bear with me. Forgive my selfishness and the fact that I don't know how to be a good friend right now. It's not because I don't want to, it's because I literally just can't right now. Keep standing by when I push you away, til I see this through the other side. I have no idea how long that will be, but I'm working on it.

"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing...not healing, not curing...that is a friend who cares."


Joannah said...

Grief is hard work, and what you are experiencing is normal and healthy. I'm glad the people in your life have been so helpful, understanding, and supportive.

You are still very early on in your grief journey. At that point it is all consuming. There is a huge void in your heart and in your daily life.

It might be hard (or impossible) with three children, but I found that seeing a grief counselor was really beneficial for me. I also attended Grief Share, and that was really good for me.

Sarah Hannon said...

You don't need to apologize vee. Not at all. And your not being selfish.
Still praying daily for you.
Lots of love

Melanie said...

Time doesn't heal all wounds, but it is what gets a to a place where we can cope and handle things. Don't be so hard on yourself. Grief is where you need to be right now. Let others continue to help you. They need it as much as you do. You are a living lesson for someone else.

Grief takes time. Your grief has it's own timetable, don't let yourself or anyone else try to adjust it. God is with you as are His servants.

You are a blessing to your children and many others. Honesty is always a blessing. Struggles (and trauma) are part of life, and we shouldn't try to color coat it.


Lesle said...

Thank you for this post. You have put into words thoughts that frequently run jumbled in my mind. While I haven't lost the love of my life, I often catch myself sort of preparing for it. I know its because I watched my mom grieve for her love when my dad died 25 years ago. I know its because since my mom died 2 and half years ago, I came to realize that grief is purely a selfish proccess on my part. If I stop grieving for the loss of my soul mate I'm letting her go, I've gotten to the point that the feeling of grief is how I "feel" her. I've come to the point that grief will be a part of the rest of my life and I'm ok with that because grief doesn't have to be all about the pain, it can also be about the comfort. I don't know if that makes sense...In any case, I believe that the only way through the pain of grief to the comfort of grief is to feel what you feel for as long as you feel it. Lean on God. And find your light in the world around you and let them be your anchor to joy. I'll be keeping you and your family in my prayers...

Brooke Simmons said...

I posted almost the exact same sentiments including the quote a few months ago! Great minds think alike! I feel ya on this...it's so hard to be needy and selfish when that goes completely against the kind of person you were before all this happened.

Anonymous said...

Dear Vee, You don't know me, but I grew up next to Roger and Marilla, Jeremy's Uncle and Aunt.

I think your friends would point you in the direction of this song if they knew it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIpV1ZZOFIE. It's powerful and beautiful and it sounds to me like it's kind-of what you need to hear right now. It's called Cry If You Want To.


Adriana Iris said...

lots of love to you

white collar | green soul said...

Sounds like you have amazing friends.
This is a beautiful, honest post.

- agata

The Better Baker said...

I don't really know what to say except that I think you are normal and healthy and all this grieving is a process you must endure. I'm so happy to know you have faithful friends who are standing by your side. You are in my thoughts and prayers often. One day at a time....God bless you richly.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me but I wanted to let you know that your story has deeply touched me and I am praying for you. I can't imagine anything harder than what you are going through and I am sure nothing anyone says can help, but you have taught me to never take life for granted.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

It's wonderful that you have such great friends that even think of TOILET PAPER (I would never think of that). Take your time and grief, there's no time limit on how long it will take or last. *Hugs and prayers*

Danielle_Wright said...

veronica thank you so much for your words. our stories and grief is very different but i have been struggling with the right words to tell people when i just dont have the energy to care and when i am just mad that my world has stopped turning when noone else's has. i have used some of your words on many occasions because i have never been good at expressing how i feel and you seemed to pull my thoughts right out of me with this post.

unrleated but related note: what are some of the books on loss you have been given and have read. i feel like i remembered you mentioning some on a post and would really like to read some to help me get through this.

thank you again for being so open and sharing your thoughts.

Glenda said...

Beautiful post and beautifully said. Your true friends will always be there. Take your time. Baby steps. Take care of you and your kids.

Malou's Mama said...

This is probably the best description of grief I have ever heard.

Just by sharing, you are helping others in grief, as well as your friends and family to better understand how you are feeling - and therefore hopeully be there for you in the way you need.

Being open about my feelings in grief have helped me gain the support I can't survive without...I hope it helps you too.

I know nothing seems like it will help or ease your pain now, but I truly believe it won't always hurt so bad.
Hang in there.

Summertime said...

I hate grief. After losing two babies and still no children I feel that grief in someway everyday. Its as simple as people talking on facebook about their babies and children and fun family times together, or watching someones belly grow when mine stopped. Before this I never doubted God for a second and always trusted somehow he would work it all out. I hate that I question that now from time to time. I hate crying everytime I worship. I hate feeling like I'm stuck in sadness and I should be ok by now. I'm crying as I write this to you and I hate that too. I am so proud of you for being real. For sharing your burdons with the people God's put in your life. You are showing your children an example that is indescribable. They will know that it's ok to cry and feel heartbroken in life. They are so blessed to have you as a mother. I'm so happy to know that you have a church and friends and family that allow you to be truely honest. They don't expect you to be done grieving. You have them to listen while you cry and even when you need to scream. Keep doing those things. Someday you will be able to be doing the same things for someone else.

Wendy said...

I nodded my head in agreement throughout this entire post. It is ok to be selfish right now (and for a good long while). You really need to be to survive. I hope you find some peace writing about it.

Jo Julia said...

i was just thinking about this today- how since i'm at eight months, i should probably start thinking about others more...and i try...but i still am so consumed by this surreal world of my grief/loss. i feel like grief is a time of pruning in so many ways- and whoever can't understand how consuming it is- will be part of that pruning.


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