Saturday, September 29, 2012


Grieving is a process with how we deal with loss - big or small. There are five stages of grief. They don't have to be experienced in order. Sometimes you can experience two of the stages at the same time. Everyone experiences grieving in their own way.

1. Denial, disbelief, numbness
2. Anger, blaming others
3. Bargaining
4. Depressed mood, sadness, and crying
5. Acceptance, coming to terms

When Heavenly Father told me it was time to start the grieving process I started sobbing. I didn't want to. It felt like giving up. It felt like losing hope. I viewed it negatively. I kept asking God haven't I been through enough this year? Why this? Why now?

I believe I mentioned before that I haven't been sleeping well for almost three months now. I wake up a number of times throughout the night. Sometimes feeling more and more anxious as the morning begins to dawn. I am physically spent, so you would think that I would actually sleep. I am on a natural sleeping aid and a medication, so falling asleep isn't a problem. It is staying asleep. Well early this morning I was feeling overly anxious and sitting next to my bed. I had tried sleeping on the couch and in the chair. When 5:30 am hit I sat in my new corner waiting for 6 am to arrive. That is the earliest time I allow myself to take my morning medication which does contain an anti-anxiety medication. Tom came and sat down next to me on the floor and said something that really got me thinking. I was expressing how tired I was. How anxious I was feeling. Why do I have to grieve? He said so that all the emotion could be dealt with. So that I could cry in an environment where I felt comfortable doing so (I hate crying in front of people).

I have experienced a lot of loss this year of many types one after the other. I'm not sure I have grieved fully any of those losses because another one hits soon after. And I believe I have stuffed all that emotion deep inside. My therapist has tried to get me to bring it up on a number of occasions, but I always tell her that the minute I enter her front door I stuff it away. Usually. Lately I have found everything to be draining. Even good things. I have come to be dissatisfied with my calling which I love and I really wouldn't want a different one. I couldn't understand it. I have felt strongly that I do NOT want to teach sharing time.

This week I have been the Ultimate Hermit staying at home and keeping my phone on silent. Now I haven't been just twiddling my thumbs. I found myself one day cleaning all day. Scrubbing and painting walls. Doing laundry. Reorganizing spaces. Purging. Taking out the garbage. Doing the dishes (Tom usually does them). Yesterday I found myself working on Project Life for 2011. It is so close to being completed. I have even been reading a little bit. The TV has hardly been turned on. For some reason I haven't really wanted to watch movies for months.

It was early this morning that I came to the conclusion that I have been in many ways fighting the grieving process. Humans in general will run from negative emotion. But you know what? It is a part of life. Something that we shouldn't run from. Running just prolongs the agony and can actually make us physically sick. I have been experiencing Limbo Loss for three months, and I can tell you that it has taken its toll. Part of me just wants to skip over the next three months. I'm not in a mood to celebrate the holidays. I'm ready for this year to be over. I'm now viewing those months differently.

I think that for the next three months I need to focus on healing. I have given all that I have, and I am worn out. It is time to let the varying emotions lose. I have been feeling guilty for taking time to be alone. I keep telling myself that I should be focusing on other friendships now that this other one has come to an end. I keep telling myself that I should put forth effort to get to know certain people better. All good things. But emotionally, mentally, physically, and even on some level spiritually I am not at a place to put forth that effort. It feels selfish, but it is time to take care of myself. And if that means I need a couple of weeks without interacting with anyone but Tom that is OK. If I tell people 'no I can't do something' that is OK. My body needs a rest. And I'm still dealing with varying levels of depression and anxiety.

It is time to stop running and turn around and face what I have left behind. The loss of my grandparents. The loss of my uncle. The loss of Sketch Support. The loss of Josalyn & Bryce. The loss of Leslie. The loss of this new friendship. The loss of physical health. The loss of our savings. The loss of mental health. The loss of losing the desire to do the things that I used to love. The limbo loss of not knowing if this is our last year in Eugene or not. The limbo loss of whether or not Tom will have everything done in time for graduation. I could go on. And so these next three months I am going to allow myself to be sad. Allow myself to cry. Allow myself to get angry. Allow myself to not feel guilty for any of it. And I'm sure as I start letting go that I will slowly rejoin the world of the living.

To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose
under heaven.
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace,
and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
And so I'm going to allow myself a time to weep, to mourn, to hate (get angry), to break down, a time to keep silent, etc. I believe as I allow these emotions to run free I will then find that slowly there will be a time to laugh, a time to build up, a time to heal, a time to get, and a time to love. For our Heavenly Father is wise and knows what we need most. I'm going to do my best to view these last three months as a gift of a time to heal. No deadlines. No hurry. Because I think we have all experienced that grieving takes time. And I am blessed that I really do have three months where I can take time to heal. Now of course it could take longer than that or less. But "to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven". 


Beth Stephenson said...

I love you Melissa! and i think realizing that you need to go through the whole process is really great and scarey too sometimes. i have had this happen to me too! i hope you know, even though time gets away from us and we dont see each other often at all... that i think about you and remember all the great times we shared. i am thankful for all the ways you were a great example to me. i am in vancouver yet again and if your in town we should spend some time. call me anytime. love you!

Rhonda said...

Everyone has their own time table and method of grieving. I'm glad you realize that you don't need to apologize for needing it! I love you!

Thomas said...

I know grieving is very hard, but I don't know this as much as you. I am glad that you have the opportunity now to grieve, and I hope you take all the time you need to relax and recover. I pray for you to be able to relax and get the rest and energy you need. I love you!