“Blobs” was my grandmother’s favorite word. She crocheted using a blob of yarn. She cooked using a ‘blob’ of this or a ‘blob’ of that. Made it tricky to recreate some of her amazing food sometimes but it was just one of the mysterious things about what made her so special. You didn’t quite understand it but it just worked.
Now one thing I know, especially lately, is that bad stuff seems to come in blobs. Why is this? What IS a blob? How do I handle it? It’s just as tricky as defining what a ‘blob’ of flour looks like before putting it in the mixing bowl.
I lost my precious, amazing dog last month. I had him for almost 16 years. He was born on my dad’s birthday, December 13th. They both died of liver disease. This was a serious blob of sadness. Why did they die so close together? Dunno.
What I have come to see, now that I can get through a day upright and mostly dry eyed, is that grief is its own, well, critter, if you will. It sort of does what it wants, goes where it wants and is pretty much unmanageable. When my dad died in November 2013 I tried to ‘take the bull by the horns’. I am a grief counselor, “I’ve got this. I’ll give myself through the holidays to be sad and then I’m moving on with life”. After the holidays were over, I thought I was doing pretty good until I dropped my new iPhone in the bath tub.
Few months pass, I’m going to my second Grief Group through our amazing local hospice (highly recommended), prepared to ‘introduce Daddy to my group’ with photos, songs, stories, etc. “I’ve got this”, I think to myself……BAM, hit a curb and blow out 2 tires.
“I……. DON’T …… GOT……THIS”.
Then, when I am finally coming up for air after losing my dad, my dog starts failing. I put it off as long as I could and I finally had to face the fact that he was miserable, he was not enjoying life. To keep him with me longer would have been cruel, putting my needs above his, something he would never have done to me. So I did the unthinkable, I took him to the vet who had cared for him for all those years and held him while he was lovingly “put to sleep”. [Don’t get me started on that term…..another great example of how death is hidden in this culture!]. I don’t remember a lot of that weekend other than a ton of crying and looking around my house for him. Why wasn’t he at my feet in bed? Why wasn’t he at the front door when I got home? Where WAS he and WHERE was my dad, for that matter?
Grief is like that. A lot of the exhaustion and disorientation comes from the fact that we don’t understand it. And a lot of the fear comes from wondering if we will survive without our loved one. It wears you out, makes you eat the wrong stuff, makes you bitchy………..forgetful………..makes you forget the rules (‘DONT’ PUT EXPENSIVE ELECTRONICS NEAR WATER’).
I can’t emphasize enough the need to be gentle! Don’t put any expectations on yourself regarding time to heal, ways to behave, social expectations…….anything. You can’t know how you will handle it until you are in it and, THIS IS HUGE: no one will understand what you are going through, even though they will insist they do.
Bad things come in blobs. If you are grieving, find yourself a blog of compassion, kindness, forgiveness…..and chocolate! This too shall pass………eventually!