Author: Sheri Denkensohn-Trott
No, this blog is not about shoes. Instead, it is about a rather heavy topic. Grief. And the title of the blog is exactly what it means. Grief is not the same for everyone. Many people have losses throughout their lives, but just because you have lost of a loved one, it doesn’t mean that another person who experiences a loss is going to have the same experience.
I recently lost my sister to liver cancer. She was my best friend, cheerleader, advisor, and in many cases because of our age difference, a mother figure. She got cancer out of the blue and while we knew there was a certainty that she wouldn’t survive, she lived for two years. During that time, I knew that she would not be with me forever, but it didn’t hit until she was gone. Actually, two weeks after she died. And it was like being run over by a bulldozer. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I consider myself resilient and able to get knocked down and in time get back up. This was total, 100%, knocked out. Anxiety took over. I didn’t want to get out of bed. When I did get out of bed, I sat in one place and could not focus on anything. I sobbed for hours. My phone was like a toxin. Just seeing it made me cringe. I didn’t want to be around people or talk. In fact, I didn’t know what I wanted but nothing was the best answer.
You can’t just “get over it.” Grief, as I’ve learned through reading very good books and meeting with a grief counselor, is something that you learn to live with by your side every day, but your companion changes over time. This realization was an “aha” moment for me. It helped me understand why I got so angry at people telling me that time will heal, and this wretched period of mourning would be behind me. While partly true, at the time it was not what I wanted to hear. And quite frankly, anyone who says that shouldn’t. I responded much better to those who said, “How can I help?” And while I knew I needed help but didn’t know what, they would come up with ideas and we would engage in a needed project. It distracted me and got me moving on things that needed my attention. That was right for me. It might not be the right thing for someone else.
At this point I’m doing better, but I know there will be times when the awful feeling of grief will overtake me. I’m better equipped to deal with it, but if I need to escape the world for a little while, I won’t feel bad about it. I lost my sister. It’s okay if am not okay with it.