This has been on my mind all day, so here goes.
Last night I posted an article written by Ashley Davis Bush. The article is below if you didn't see it.
This really struck home with me, it's not perfect but it's about as close as it can get. Each point in the article could be summarized in my journey in percentages.
1. Grief is a normal reaction.
I know this to be absolutely true, not only in death but in divorce. I've said a thousand times that my divorce was actually harder for me then my sons death to get a grip on. Death is final and divorce is filled with grey.
2. Grief is hard work.
It's honestly the hardest work I've ever done and I've done some pretty tough stuff in my life. I restore old homes and have had to eat dirt literally from crawling face down in attics and crawlspace to accomplish my goal. Slept it off and gone right back to work the next day to do it again. Resting up from grief is nearly impossible. It hangs with you, regardless of sleep.
3. Grief doesn't offer closure.
Closure is simply not possible. For those of you that think it is, you need to find closure and back your silly ass up because it's not going to happen. Not because I don't want it, because it's simply something that's not possible. It's like telling me to pretend it never happened. If you're in the business helping others and using the word closure, stop.
4. Grief is life long.
It is in every sense of my being. It in no way means all I do is sit in my house grasping to pictures or memories sobbing. Again, it's like telling me it didn't happen. I've spoken about my sons death or my two divorces many times in workshops, each and every time my heart races, my palms get sweaty and I have a hard time resting up afterward. Emotions are like petrified wood, different, but very much as real as the day they first lived.
I also want to touch on the idea that grief gets harder the second year. It took me a couple months to even begin to realize my son was dead, gone, not coming back. It took me a couple months to get a grip on the fact that my marriage was over. It does get harder before it gets easier. It's not about days, months or years, it climaxs somewhere as we are all different.
5. Grievers need to stay connected to the deceased.
This was without a doubt the toughest for me. How???? Every single time I talk about my son those around me changed the subject. It leaves a person isolated and left without direction. The relationship doesn't go away, they have to change and it's up to the griever to figure it out. Trying to push someone or telling them to disconnect or stay busy, what a joke. It took me seven years to figure it out. I really wish that someone would have simply given me the needed space and listened when I needed to just talk. That's it, not try and solve it for me, just listen. Have you ever had something that you just couldn't figure out and when you start sharing the problem you begin to answer your own question. Figuring out this new relationship is no different.
6. Grievers are changed forever.
Now I can tell you without a doubt that I didn't go easy. I kicked and screamed as I slide down the slope into this reality. I cussed, flailed wildly, everyone was to blame but me. I was not going down without a fight, but when I hit bottom I made a thud so loud birds across the state park I was in took flight. Something I discovered was this, if something good changes us for life, why can't tragedy do the same? The death of my son, divorce, they are a part of who I am. I'm changed for the better.
7. Grief can choose transcendence.
Without a doubt, this is exactly what I've done. I mean this scores a 100%. I had to find an outlet for my regret. The things I wished I had done differently or even the things I didn't get to do were eating me like an ameba in my brain. When I started helping others through The Birdhouse Project, what I'm writing today, listening to others, it's how I transended from sadness to happiness. This can also transend into negative just as easily, drinking, drugs, lashing out, the emotional reactions in the negative direction are just as powerful.
My final thoughts. 99.9 to .01
I can live each and every one of these to the most positive impactful life changing inspiring choruses in my life 99.01% of the time, but the power that is held within the pain of .01% of my human emotion can bring me crashing to my knees. I can be empowered and drive by the cemetery and see my sons grave and I want to puke. I can be empowered and hear a student introduce himself as Blake and wretch my body like a contortionist to keep from bursting into tears just from hearing his name.
My son lives within me, I see him in everything I do, say and touch. It's truly heaven on earth, I wouldn't change a thing. I am 1 through 7, but I'm also Kris, a builder, a teacher, a visionary. I'm grateful to be home, not in the physical sense, the spiritual one. Be safe and well, but more importantly, be yourself.
"When I began doing things that seamed insane to other, I was simply seeking my own sanity. When I arrived, I discoverd my reality".