They say grief comes in waves— yesterday my grief hit me like a tidal wave, out of the blue.  It started when I woke up.  I felt sick to my stomach and could not eat breakfast or even finish my morning coffee. That sick feeling is the anxiety of grief showing its ugly face.

Looking out the kitchen window fall leaves caught my eye and I started crying. I miss Caleb. The changing seasons, holidays and passing of time make me miss him more. Of course, the anger of grief showed up. He chose to leave and I still struggle with being angry about that, even knowing he was not in his right mind does not help subside my anger. Grief is sometimes full of anger, at everyone, and everything.

The mask of grief showed up when I dried my tears and plastered a smile on my face and joined Madilyn in the living room for a morning movie. 

After the movie I told Madilyn I was going to get ready to take her to Airborne.  Getting ready consisted of laying in bed crying. I don’t want to go anywhere, but Madilyn deserves a normal childhood, and she deserves to be able to have fun. I ended up going out looking like a bag lady. The plan after Airborne was to go to Kirkland’s to pick up a few new throws.  After sitting there watching Madi play and being aggravated with parents that ignored their children’s excited and fearful cries, I did not have the energy to shop.  So, home we went, and a nap I took.  That’s the exhaustion of grief. 

Upon waking up, it was time for Taekwondo.  Still exhausted even after a long nap off we went to class. I watched as Madi received her Senior Orange Belt, I am so proud of her, but I am so tired. Back at home, I took a shower and cried because I am so exhausted, sad, depressed and anxiety filled.

Watching a Christmas movie brought tears, again, because the reality of grief made an appearance. In the movie a girl Madi’s age had an older brother that gave her a thoughtful gift.  There will be no more thoughtful gifts for Madi from Caleb. There will be no more laughing and plotting among siblings- our reality sucks.

Later miscommunications with David caused hurt feelings. Miscommunication during grief is common, because you no longer know how to express yourself and struggle to find the words to say.

Getting ready for bed I looked in the mirror and did not recognize the person looking back—the eyes, the skin, graying hair, the extra weight— I am no longer me.  I want my old life back. I want the happily ever after that all the fairy tales promise. I went to bed praying that during the night the tidal wave would subside, and tomorrow would be a better day.

Why am I posting this?  Because many do not understand that grief come in waves and some days are harder than others. Yes, we are coming up on 1.5 years, but the grief is still heavy. Grief cannot be controlled or rushed.  Those who are grieving need to be able to grieve, and have friends and family understand that we don’t want to stay stuck in grief, but it takes time to heal from the trauma of an unexpected loss. We can’t always be there for holidays, because it is painful. We can’t always be the one to make contact– its hard for us, because we don’t want to ruin your day and put our burdens on you.

I have good days and bad, yesterday was a bad one. Thankfully, it is not this bad everyday. If you are still reading, I hope this helps you understand just a bit more about what grief can be like.  If you are still reading this know I did not post for people to feel sorry for me.  I just want people to know that even after time it is still hard.

4 Responses to “Waves”

  1. Deborah Philippi says:

    Thank you for posting. My daughter died 5 weeks ago. I am falling apart. I know that this feeling inside me is never going to end. I am trying for my son and husband. I fear that it is going to get much worse before it gets better. I hope to find some kind of peace in the future. That there will be at least some good days ahead at some point.

  2. Jamie says:

    Oh Donna! Just reading this and thinking back to our conversation on Thanksgiving. You mentioned this post. What a powerful reminder about grief and how it comes from nowhere at times and hits us head on. You are helping people understand. Love you dearly and will continue to pray for Jesus to sustain you in those moments of grief and beyond.

  3. Donna says:

    Deborah, I am so sorry for your loss. There will be better days, they will just take time to come.

  4. Donna says:

    Thank you for all you do and continue to do for us. This has been a hard road, but with friends like you it is more bearable.