Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What Does Grief Look Like?

on a typical day, grief looks like a hot mess.

after taking a myers-briggs personality test a year or so ago, i noticed that one of the ways they say my personality type (E/INFJ) deals with stress is to marathon-watch their favorite tv show.

this is what that looks like.

i find i'm doing a lot of the same things i did in the weeks following noah's death. like my body and spirit went into autopilot this week and just knew what to do.

i know i need my space and have a hard time, generally, keeping my energy up with people around all the time. but i have found a life-giving force from our unbelievably amazing community.

a dear friend came over on sunday afternoon to be with me while john was at work. we painted our nails. (correction: she painted my nails. i didn't do anything.)

someone filled our house with food before we came home from louisiana. this might be one of the single, most practical and helpful acts of love. (and it's no secret who you are, because you picked out all our favorites. hashtag twin-tuition.)

a couple we have found a deep sense of love and care from these last few months as we have been welcomed into their home about twice a month, to eat yummy dessert and share our hearts together, came over pretty immediately to show they cared and sit with us as we processed. (and brought cookies.)

three of our pastors have contacted us repeatedly with their words of encouragement, support and anger. (hearing words like "i am yelling at God for you" from your senior pastor is strangely one of the most comforting things. we don't need cliche poem-like words, we need others joining us in our grief. what love.)

my husband. constant and kind.

grief, oddly enough, sometimes looks a lot like love.

i need alone time, yes, but i need others more. i need my community to help lift my head out of the mess, to remind me that there is a big world out there still turning, even when my world has stopped.

i'm sort of in a holding pattern right now. i don't really have plans after i'm done writing this post, let alone when i'll go back to work or if i'll go back to work. i don't even know what's for dinner tomorrow. (but i don't have to know, thank goodness, because it's just going to show up on our doorstep. what a gift.)

there's no end date to grief, but i'm allowing as much time as my mind and heart need. they've seen and felt things in this lifetime that no human should have to, and then two times over.

they are stronger than i thought possible, but still, i will proceed gently.

1 comment:

  1. Gently is indeed the way forward. Grief doesn't end but it will change, become more gentle, be less consuming. I'm so grateful to hear that you are surrounded by loving people who care that you're hurting and aren't trying to "make it right" with cliches and platitudes. Sending love <3
    Kim (fellow ACD mom)