Leadership

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Comfort: A Journey Through Grief by Ann Hood - Third Entry

As you can see, I read more than one chapter. I had too. The writing is compelling with its descriptive words painting a picture of chaotic grief. That his the thing that stands out to me in this story of loss and the need for comfort, anything to take the pain away.

Her experience of mourning isn't ordered. There are no "stages" laid out carefully in order as they're supposed to be, as writers will tell you in their books. Instead they come and go all over the place, one minute she is experiencing. Pleasure, the next minute she is in the hell of loss so deep it cannot be fathomed. 

She can't escape. She flees from things that remind her, she runs from people she doesn't want to meet - she hides away from life, living in the chaos. Everything she sees, the food they eat, the songs, the people - all too painful to bear.

Everyone mourns differently. But there are some things that are the same - it's how we react to our grief that is different. I allowed myself to be surrounded by everything about my mother, trying to keep her close, fully embracing the pain and agony of her death. I think I processed through it all in less time, but it was a painful time. 

We can mourn the loss of many things. A job, a relationship, a pet, a vocation...anything we have emotionally invested in. My usual reaction to pain is anxiety, avoiding the inevitable, hiding. Unresolved grief can poison a life. Hiding from the pain and loss only prolongs the mourning period. Sometimes we hang onto it as a protective barrier, something to hide behind so that we don't have to face the world again. There is a different experience for each person who brings their own experiences to the process.

This story draws me intensely in evoking memories of my own, heightening the feelings
of loss I'm experiencing now. There is more to get through. Her simple story telling, even the order in how she tells it, is gripping. I want to reach into her experience and comfort her. Comfort me.

More still to come...Kathie



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