The Grief Monster

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Everyone has to deal with this individually, and there is no correct set of rules or calendars. I fear, however, that the “grief monster” can also have some influence from the dark side. I don’t want to give in to that side of grief.

Many days I’d like to just sit on the couch and each chips and popcorn and watch old movies; not shower, not shave, not answer the phone of the door, not be alive, just be dead inside and avoid all contact with the living, or just weep until my gut hurts, my eyes are swollen shut, till I can’t breath, and I can’t walk or talk and have no desire for food, rest, sleep, anything. I get somewhat depressed, demotivated, and just plain heart achy when I think of the loss of my dearly beloved who had become the central focus of my life, my reason for getting up in the morning, my daily light, especially when she went into decline. She was my everything.

What does that accomplish if it goes on too long?

….nothing good, as it does not allow ME to fulfill the measure of my creation nor to exercise my talents at loving and lifting others.

I was numb for many months after the passing away of my reason for life. I reached out to others in the beginning and was treated as if I had leprosy. I wanted to run away and hide.

But then, what did that show to my Heavenly Father about how I love Him?

 I decided to defy the dark side of grief as it only lead to more and darker grief.If I didn’t take care of that relationship, I would have absolutely nothing in life… nada… even the relationship with my own children could become negative, dark, and maybe non-existant. I decided to defy the dark side of grief as it only lead to more and darker grief. I am not tough, but I didn’t want to succumb and I could feel myself slipping away.

So, I applaud those who move themselves, not in spite of, but THROUGH the pain of loss to continue to love, actuate, make happen, lift others, fulfull responsibilities, etc. I still get my one or two evenings on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, but the rest of my life is doing what I can to take care of others. I know what darkness lies at the end of that chain if I don’t. It’s only comforting in the initial parts of the escape, and then only more heartache and depression and hopelessness sink in. I know a woman, that after the SIDS death of her daughter, who stayed in bed for MANY years until she finally died of obesity and bad health… all at the cost of neglecting her dedicated husband and three other children who had to start families of their own and have her grandchildren without any input from her except self pity.I know what darkness lies at the end of that chain… It’s only comforting in the initial parts of the escape, and then only more heartache and depression and hopelessness sink in.She had formerly been an active and motivational woman in the family, neighborhood, and at church. She allowed her grief turn to self destructive self pity. That would be extreme, but I fear for some who are not so extreme, but still caught and ensnared by the dark side of grief. At some point, one must decide to break out of it or die spiritually and enter an eternal torment that no one would want.

I worry about who have experienced loss when I read their stories. I get it. Some days I think my heart is dead, and other days I think that it will explode. It used to feel like someone had ripped it out of my chest, cut it in half, stomped and abused the remaining half, and then stuffed it back into my chest and left it to rot. BUT, pushing myself a little back into the main stream, staying close to family without falling apart when they ask me how I’m doing, and trying to extend myself at church and even organizing small family and neighborhood events has helped me get through it, and I find my heart now being filled with love from the inside out, not from the outside in. And I also find that life and hope and love spring eternally when we lose ourselves in service. The scriptures are true. Trust in them. Don’t avoid or ignore in your self pity the sweet peace that enters your heart when you read them. Read them until the peace enters. Set aside time for that. Make it happen. Reading daily props me up to get going and DO something for others as well as myself. I find my heart now being filled with love from the inside out, not from the outside in. And I also find that life and hope and love spring eternally when we lose ourselves in service.You will receive light and intimations about the present and future that you can’t get any other way. God’s plan of happiness for us is ultimataly happy. Don’t rebel against it because you are unhappy today.

Staying physically fit has also helped in therapeutic ways even if it took 8 months before others at the gym would seek to talk to me again. It’s been lonely, but without my own efforts to get back into life, even though I resisted my own efforts, I would be in that conundrum of pain and numbness.  I admit, that place is sort of like Hell, so why would I want to stay there? I remember days of brightness and happiness and even though I can’t feel them all the time now, I want that back.

I often joke that my wife was just dieing to get out of the relationship….

but even dark humor is better than no humor.

I have found the Lord has been there every step of the way when I would do positive things…. but He seemed to not want to participate in my own self destructive, reclusive, or depressed ways. He has stepped in a LOT with spiritual hugs and reminders and encouragement. I have had to have faith in that and not turn my back on it.

Don’t be afraid, or so self depricating that you won’t seek help to get you through, and up, and out. Look to the Lord, but don’t turn your back on those He has placed to help you with this. He probably won’t come in person Himself, but has put others in place to do so.

I mourn with you, I weep with you, but I write this because I can’t stand by and allow others to self destruct. It’s not your fault, and our Heavenly Father would NEVER ask you to pass through something that wouldn’t eventually be for your good, and good can come if we reach out and look up.

What behaviors can you change to help start to bring in the light?

 

After being divorced for 12 years, Paul met and married his wife Sally who he refers to as “his universe.”  Tragically, within 4 months of their wedding, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  6 1/2 years later, the shock of her passing on June 5, 2014 was devastating to him. He returned to work the week after the funeral, the phone calls faded, and the visits almost instantly stopped. He had a choice to make, to let the devastation and lack of support consume him, or to take the positive road. Paul said, “My road to happiness began at that point. I have learned so much. As is often said, I would not want to go through those experiences again, but I would not trade what I have learned.” 

 

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