Sunday, January 29, 2017


I feel like I'm doing okay.  But then I realize I haven't responded to texts or emails or calls--not because I've deliberately chosen to ignore them, but because their existence has altogether slipped off the slick surface of my brain.  My brain which can't seem to hold onto an idea or a thought right now.

I'm also leaving things behind everywhere I go.  I've always done this--my parents used to lay bets on what I'd forget to bring home whenever I left--but I'm even worse than usual right now.

It occurred to me that maybe this is how the aftermath feels.  I did all my crying this summer.  And now there's this.

If you don't mind, would you share how your experience played out after the death of a family member?



AmyLynne said...

My experience was similar. I definitely couldn't keep important things in my brain. I also felt physically fragile, like I needed to stay still or I'd break. I didn't think I felt depressed, but I guess I was because any chance I got, I'd crawl into bed and stay there until I absolutely had to go do something. I just felt fragile.

Be gentle with yourself, Ann. Slow and gentle. I love you.

Megan Goates said...

My grief is for a son and his disabilities. When the sadness returns, I can't do anything beyond the essential. It all falls by the wayside and my energy is used up just living one day at a time. I think it's okay to turn your house into a bit of a hermitage while you let the aftermath of sadness wash over you. I've composed sympathy notes to you in my head, Ann, but haven't actually written a single line. I'm so glad your dad lived the big life that he did, and gave the world so much good. And that he and TRQ gave the world you. I love you.

Sarah said...

I've learned to pay attention to the physical aspects of grief, as well as the emotional. I'm still surprised that my body responds so directly to it. It's been thirteen and a half years (!) since my baby girl died, and almost four since my mom. I've been forced to remember over and over that when my body is saying no, don't take that on right now, I need to respect that.

Also, I've had to apologize and tell people that "this isn't me," and ask for them to be patient while I wait for me to come back. It's frustrating. It's awful, it's complicated, and pretty disturbing, actually. But the regular me does come back. And I find out that the laundry was fine without me, most people are understanding, we just keep rotating around the sun and winter turns to spring.

Sarah said...

*twelve and a half years
I miscounted. Feels like a lifetime. Feels like a blink.

Emily said...

I didn't do anything social for over a month. I couldn't. But when I forced myself to be social, just for a tiny bit, I was amazed at the people who came to me with grief stories of their own. I clung to their grief and their experience with grief. It's like we were in a strange club. It reminds me of Harry Potter, THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX when Harry comes back to school (after the death of Cedric Diggory) and sees the Thestrals for the first time. It's as if, suddenly, I could see Thestrals. I guess what I'm saying is that it was really helpful for me to surround myself with others who had experienced similar grief.

And time. Just time.

Kamp Kyburz said...

I was numb. High functioning, but numb. And angry. I was angry that I had to take care of so many affairs, errands, and details. It was a highly stressful time. And empty. I felt empty.