Grief is a funny thing. I’ve never really had to greive to the extent that I am right now. I’ve lost grandparents. I’ve lost friends. I’ve lost loved ones that I’ve worked for for a number of years . But I’ve never left lost lost my husband. I’ve never lost a best friend. I’ve never lost the father of my children.
I’ve been doing okay. I really have. I’ve been able to see the glass half full with a lot of things. I think over the last three years I’ve conditioned my brain to do that. Really… you can do that. You can do something if you make it a habit every day. Each day I would count my blessings. I would look at every tender mercy I found from Heavenly Father.. everything from, seeing a cute smile that my husband would give me or the look in his eye that I knew he loved me, to a beautiful sunrise that I could watch from my window. There were so many things that I could be grateful for.
Thank goodness that glass is refillable. Holy cow mine’s getting pretty low these days.
Now, the part of grief that a lot of people don’t really care about, kind of has a bad reputation. ANGER. I’m having a really hard time lately raining in my anger. Because of my grief counseling and because of what I have seen, I know that being angry is part of the process. For those of you that know me, I’m not an angry person. I’m not a mad person. I don’t hold grudges. I just feel that life is easier that way. However, because the natural process of grief. . . I’m getting mad.
I’m getting silently angry. I get angry at all sorts of things. I get angry at the teenager walking down the road that is hugging and kissing on their boyfriend, why do they get to do that right now and I don’t. I get angry when my kids ask for dad and I have to tell him he’s not coming home. I get angry after family parties when everyone gets home with their spouses and I am left alone. I have even asked my own brother to not come over and hang out with me because I just wanted my sister-in-law there. I couldn’t see a marriage that day…. Even if it was my own brother’s!
I get angry moving into a new home, unpacking my husband’s clothes and food and other items that stir up memories. I get mad that Shakira came on the radio the other day (my hubby’s other girlfriend).
The world hasn’t stopped because my husband’s gone. I remember the final hours of his life, looking out the window of our backyard. Looking at the horizon and what a beautiful day it was. I remember being really bugged, at the fire engine sirens going on for something else. Getting mad at the cars driving by because they didn’t care my husband was dying. The birds didn’t care that he was dying and they were still flying around. It was so beautiful. I didn’t let myself stay there. Not for very long. Because I know what truly matters. But I know now, those thoughts are normal. It is all necessary at some point.
One thing that helps me feel better that I found, is serving others. And I’ve known this for a while, I’ve actually tried to serve others through these last three years. Bart was such a good example with that.
A few years ago, Bart and I were going through the drive thru, getting some dinner when we went to go pay the lady at the window said that the car ahead of us paid for our dinners. We were shocked and we were really appreciative.
That’s something that has stayed with us. And from time to time we would do that. We would pay for those behind us. Even if it meant paying for whole van full of people… A little pricey that one time. but we were happy to help them out. I’m sure that meant a lot to them. Another time, we saw a girl running to shelter in the rain, but she couldnt get there fast enough. We rolled down our window and gave her our umbrella. Small things can mean a lot.
Yesterday when going through the drive thru at Carls Jr, I noticed the girl behind me in line. A young, early 20’s, cute girl who looked a little stressed. No smile on her face, and with her head resting on her hand. I thought I would pay for her lunch to make her day a little better. I paid the $5 something and went to Taco Bell next door for my medium Mtn Dew. When I exited the drive thru, a very different looking girl greeted me with her window down and a huge smile. She asked if I meant to pay for her lunch, and of course I said yes. She thanked me and told me I didnt have to. I just told her to please pay it forward and do something nice for somebody else. She said she would!
I was so happy this just happened! I felt so good. After the dozens of times I have done that, not once has anyone thanked me in person! It was awesome to see that what I did had impacted someone’s day. She was so much happier than she was 10 minutes ago.
So, I CHALLENGE you. Do something nice for somebody else! Whether it be the same way I did, or just something even more simple. Call a friend, bake cookies for a loved one, you name it! If it makes someone smile, you’ve done your job.
Questions to Ponder:
- How can you better manage feelings of anger?
- How can gratitude and service help you deal with grief?