The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

Getting Battered by Waves of Grief & Why I Recommend It

Since my Dad was hospitalized last year he has been slowly failing and now, at 89, is in the final stages of his life. All of the signs that he is dying are there. He sleeps more, he eats less, he is disinterested in life. But yesterday, he seemed to take another slight turn for the worse and the doctor ordered a hospice nurse to come in and start seeing him on a regular basis. While I have never personally had someone in my family be in/with hospice before I certainly know that they can provide great comfort to both the family and the patient and are considered to be angels here on earth. That said, the word “hospice” is sort of that final nail in the coffin (and yes I know that is a really horrible pun but believe me, you find laughter in the strangest moments during this grief process) and as it all started to sink in, my grief became a palpable physical entity last night.

After hearing this news about the hospice nurse from my sister I just sat in a chair with a cup of tea and decided to just experience the grief that was washing over me in waves. I’ve heard people describe grief this way before and have certainly experienced it this way my self a bit but last night I could literally physically feel the emotion battering me around like I was standing in the shallows of the ocean. One minute I was breathing, the next minute I was not as the tears choked my throat closed and the salty water flowed down my cheeks. The next minute I was breathing, thinking that this was all ok, that it was his time, that it was better for him not to suffer and then slowly but surely, I began to sink back into the depths of speechlessness once again and prepared myself to be battered around helplessly again.

In a previous post I have given advice for you guys to “sit” with anger or sadness to help you both learn from it and recover from it and last night, that’s exactly what I did with my own grief. I have to say, well, I am exhausted. Sitting with and really owning and experiencing any emotion takes a lot out of you but at the same time, it’s a good sort of exhausted. It’s like the feeling at the end of a race or run or workout where you’ve pushed yourself to the limits and feel like you’re going to throw up but, at the same time, you feel good about what you accomplished. That’s sorta how I feel today. I feel a little more familiar with my grief. I feel like there is less to fear. That I know I haven’t experienced it at its worst but that I know when I do, I can just lay on my back and not fight it.

I offer you this story to encourage you to not fight the emotions you’re feeling. To tell you that it’s ok to just sit there and feel really sad or really pissed off or really whatever it is you’re feeling. Let it take you over and know that when you emerge, you will be slightly stronger, slightly wiser and slightly more you.

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