Friday, May 30, 2008

how to grieve 101

I don't think there are many self-help books that can truly tell you how to grieve 'properly'. I find that I question the authors experience. I dislike the patronizing tone of many of them.
I find the same is true of much 'advice'. I know everyone has the best of intentions and just wants to help....but I feel frustrated when someone who has not experienced this horror tells me to 'not cry in front of the kids', 'get on with my life', 'think of the happy times', etc. Again, I know that it is meant to help but it's like someone who's never skydived giving instruction to someone jumping from a plane. It's ludacris.
Another widow I've never met sent me a poem through another friend. I have it posted on my mirror:
Don't tell me that you understand.
Don't tell me that you know.
Don't tell me that I will survive,
How I will surely grow.
Don't come at me with answers
that can only come from me.
Don't tell me how my grief will pass,
that I will soon be free.
Accept me in my ups and downs.
I need someone to share.
Just hold my hand and let me cry
And say, "My friend, I care."
I find this poem a bit...blunt, but at the same time, it's what I feel I need.
I find my friend, Marnie, fabulous at this. I call her at any time and she's there to listen, be a shoulder and, occasionally, laugh. The other day, we were talking about how I had lost so much weight since Jeff died. We joked that if anyone asked how I lost it, I would joke that all you have to do is 'lose the husband'.
Then my darling sister (also an awesome listener) gave me a book. I am stunned and grateful for this book. I was sceptical that it would have any insight about my situation when I picked it up since it was about a widow who lost her husband in 9/11. BUT the author understands. There are whole paragraphs that I feel like highlighting because I have said the exact same thing at one point during this journey. In fact, she, as well, jokes about the 'lose-a-husband diet'. I would love to hug this woman. I want to thank her for sharing her experience. I feel 'normal' and understood. Like her, I have been struggling to find someone who I can 'connect with', that has been through the same thing. I find this feeling through the book. Thank you, Abigail Carter.


Going Crunchy said...

Wonderful poem, and a good one to pass along to others when they grieve. Thoughts for you right now Jackie.

Poppy & Mei said...

It's so great that you feel you can write about positive things in your life!
This is an amazing energy shift Jackie, just wonderful...Xxx

Abigail said...


I am so glad that my book resonated with you. I had to laugh when I read that you also felt like you were on the 'lose-a-husband-diet-plan.' Sounds like you have been on this miserable-wonderful roller coaster ride of grief. All I can say, is don't forget to feel the wind in your hair.

Best Wishes,
Abigail Carter