Experiencing loss is something we all have and will face throughout our lifetime. As we get older, the number of losses increases, sometimes to unbearable proportions. One would think (or hope) that after a certain amount of losses, the sting would somehow lessen and the tears would no longer flow with abandon - instead, become a controlled trickle.
In reality, we find that after each loss, the sting is the same (and sometimes worse). We might find ourselves muddling through our day with a deep sense of sadness for weeks or months and wonder if we are going crazy. In most cases, we are not. It's called the "domino effect."
You see, when we lose a family member, friend, or beloved pet, it triggers the memories and emotions of past losses. This avalanche of feelings can be a little overwhelming, frightening, and most of all, depressing. We find ourselves either an emotional bowl of Jello or completely shutting down – isolating from everyone and everything. It's okay. It's normal. Yes, it is uncomfortable and painful, but all part of the grieving process. Trying to fight it is unhealthy. As they say, "Go with the flow."
Being in the business of grief, I thought understanding the dynamics would inoculate me from feeling the pain and anguish. Not true. My brain knows what is happening, but it doesn't communicate that knowledge to my heart.
What we all need to remember is that the losses we face, and the subsequent period of emotional upheaval is a testament to love. It reminds me of a phrase in an old movie that goes something like this - "How lucky I am to have someone in my life that makes saying goodbye to so darned hard."
In memory of my friend Joan Maucere who left us this past weekend and inspired this post.
The choirs of angels are singing as
Heaven gains another beautiful soul.