Question from Megan:
“Can I ask you something? You seem to be in a peaceful place. How did you get there?”
Here is my short answer:
It’s true, now for most of the time I’m in a peaceful place. That wasn’t always like that. I’ve been very open and honest in my book about the dark periods of my grieving. The loss of my younger twin almost was 4 years ago, shadowed by my mother’s suicide 3,5 years ago. Looking back, I believe that my conscious exploration and confrontation with my grief, what some theorists call ‘grief work’, is what has made the difference over time.
The hardest time for me was the second year, probably exasperated by the other life changing situations like moving overseas, clearing out my mother’s earthly belongings, starting to face a lot of things … Leading to writing the book “Grieving Parents”. There are many times I remember when I couldn’t stand where I was, I struggled heaps with my new normal me and was really angry, frustrated and unhappy. Is say time and the willingness to look deeply into my grief is what brought me here.”
Beyond what I wrote in the book, I’ve written journal entries and blog posts that remind me of those dark places of early grief. As an example, this was written on 14 January 2012 – 5 days before my mother’s suicide:
It’s not all roses
The face I show the world is not usually the one where my eyes are filled with tears and where I’m sobbing with grief of missing Amya Mirica.
Comments about how good I look or how happy I seem are describing the surface of that very same face in just another moment of life. But the heart feels everything and different emotions on various levels no matter what shows up on the surface.
Sometimes these well-meant comments make me feel angry as they so miss the point of how I’m really feeling. What you see is not all there is… And yet, I realize, we all portray only a part of ourselves to the world and so do I.
Much processing happens internally or in my personal space. Few have shared some pretty tough and unpleasant moments with me when all the emotions pour out. If you have you may consider yourself a close friends who I trust won’t turn away because of my sudden outbreak of emotions.
Having said that recently I experience a lot of anger and frustration, anger in response to many things, situations and people. Even though I’m aware of this too being part of the grieving cycle it is still difficult to be with those unpleasant feelings.
Many, even close friends, have become silent or distant. Who would want to get themselves in the line of fire by saying something that might trigger a bolt of emotions?
Some who spoke said ‘I don’t know what to say…’. I understand and yet it feels lonely.
I miss simply being myself with some mundane life issues to deal with.
I keep Amya Mirica in my heart and Ananda Mae close to my heart.
So if you find yourself to be in that place, know that as hard and dark as it might be, it’s transient, it will change.
Take a calendar and every day write down a number from 1 to 10 on how you felt today on average, 1 being the worst you felt (for example on the day your child died) and 10 being the best you ever felt (for example on your wedding day?). Do this for at least three to six months. Even if you miss some day recording the number, you should notice that the numbers become higher. Maybe the days with a seven, eight or nine are not yet experienced but you will hopefully have less days numbered one or two and more around the three to six mark.
Have your say
What helped you to get to a more peaceful place? -> Share in the comments.