Understanding Grief

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I’m thinking about this because of a discussion that started on a listserv I’m a member. What does it mean to grieve? Should we not grieve because it’s illogical?

I have 3 instances in my life that I have grieved. I’m going to explore each one in this post. All were illogical as there was nothing I could do about it.

My first big grief was when I initially found out I was pregnant with my now 5 yr old son. My boyfriend had just broken up with me. I was being evicted from my apartment. How could I possibly raise a child? I was fearful that I’d have to give him up for adoption. Obviously now, I know that my family and friends supported my choice in keeping him. Should I have had those feelings? Probably not, but that does little to help someone in that situation.

My next big grief was when my now 4 yr old was diagnosed with Autism. My older son had suffered so much from his Autism. He couldn’t talk at that point. He constantly had meltdowns. Our house was a constant wreck from the tornado of rage my son felt. I was fearful that it would be the same for my little boy. It hasn’t been at all. In fact, we still get constant comments of how happy and cheerful he is, that they both are. We moved past the grief to actually doing all we could to help our children. But it doesn’t change those fears, the grief.

My last and biggest grief was when my father died. He would be 50 this year, so was 47 at the time. He had a heart attack. At the time, we were estranged from my parents because of his alcoholism. I was filled with anger and fear. I was angry that he couldn’t stop drinking. If he had, would he still be here? If he had gone to a doctor, would he still be here? And biggest, why didn’t I forgive him? These are all unresolved fears and so I still grieve over the death of my father.

It seems to me, that if you can come to grips with what has happened, you can move past the grief. You will be able to help yourself and the matter at hand. The grief will all but disappear. But for those initial instants, the grief is very real and comes from a fear of the unknown ahead.

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