A Byproduct of Loss

13 11 2006

“An odd byproduct of my loss is that I’m aware of being an embarrassment to everyone I meet. At work, at the club, in the street, I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they’ll ‘say something about it’ or not. I hate if it they do, and if they don’t. Some funk it altogether… I like best the well brought-up young men, almost boys, who walk up to me as if I were a dentist, turn very red, get it over, and then edge away to the bar as quickly as they decently can. Perhaps the bereaved ought to be isolated in special settlements like lepers.”-C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)

Maybe everyone who’s lost someone, or is in the process of losing someone, should be isolated like lepers. I’m sure it would be a depressing colony, but at least there would be people to understand. 

The trouble is grief does isolate you from the rest of the word, even if there isn’t a visible barrier, but you’re not surrounded with people who aren’t afraid of or embarrassed by you and your situation. The strained smiles, fidgeting, short and awkward conversations make it challenging to be anything but isolated. You can’t blame someone for not understanding, because everyone’s grief is unique even if they’ve lost the same person, but it does make it challenging.

After reading “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis, I didn’t come away with answers, or feeling at peace with everything, but it was helpful to read someone else’s fears, doubts, feelings and thoughts as they walked through the long road of grief. To know I’m not alone as I ask my questions that have no answers, when religious comfort that’s offered seems trite and cold, and when the only thing that seems to have come out of this is that I’ve gained a broader vocabulary.  Sometimes the most helpful thing is simply to know you’re not alone.

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5 responses

15 11 2006
timglass

Kelsey, you are not alone. You are surrounded by love in every direction.
His blessings this day.

14 11 2006
hudds53

My heart really goes out to you, I can sense your pain. I congratulate you for the courage you show in your postings. You state as you feel it, good for you. I do know the empty feeling of being alone and not seeing your world will ever be right again. Some days feel a little better than others but none are the same as they were. There can seem to be no end in sight, just more pain.
I am sure you are helping many others with your honest writing. By your sharing as you are you are showing others, they are not alone and helping them through your experiences. That takes courage and I admire you for it.
I know it is no comfort but know I have been there and know it will get better. If you ever need to just vent,feel free to email me any time, you can get the address from the site.
Bill

Thank you, Bill. I always appreciate your comments.

For awhile, when I’d talk to people I tried to say what I thought I was suppose to say, how I was suppose to be feeling and doing. I think it’s done me the most good of anyone to finally see that it’s okay to tell someone how I’m honestly doing, it’s okay to not always feel happy, and it’s okay to be upset; it’s part of the process. Blogging seem to be a good way of voicing what I’m feelinng and thinking, sometimes it helps to just get it out.

And thank you for the offer to be a sounding board. I will keep that in mind next time I need to vent.

-Kelsey

17 11 2006
babychaos

For what it’s worth, I always feel awkward about grief. I never know what to say or what to do… I’m pretty awkward all round though, so I guess it makes it almost easier – I do what I always do. I tell the person I feel awkward, that I would like to help but don’t really know how. I tell them that I appreciate they probably don’t know how I can help either but that if they do want to talk to someone about it or if there’s anything I can do just to call me and I’ll be there. I often wish I could be like Mr Babychaos as he is much better at this kind of support than I. He’s highly intuitive and will turn up with a hug or a cup of coffee just when it’s needed….

My own experience of grief is that the griever is the person that has to be strong – actually in pretty much any disaster it’s the person at the centre, the one who’s enduring the problem who has to have the strength. You can talk to your friends about it but you have to reassure them straight afterwards no?

On the strength of these posts – and the fact that I, too, love Monty Python and Douglass Adams – I’m going to put you on my blogroll!

Cheers

BC

Grief is an awkward subject all-around, for everyone even remotely involved.

Yes, it does seem like the grieving person is often the one who has to be strong. I can sometimes talk to my friends, but I do often have to be the one to reassure them afterwards. Sometimes, it seems like I can cope with living with it better than they can handle hearing about it.

Thank you for the blogroll add. 🙂

~Kelsey

17 11 2006
babychaos

PS Pooh is a sweetie, is he a Norwegian Forest Cat/Maine Coon?

Pooh is part Maine Coon, but I don’t know what else he is. My family and I call him our “little kitty,” but he’s not going to be so little for long.

~Kelsey

4 12 2006
babychaos

I have a similar looking kitty to Pooh. He’s a rescue cat but I think more of a Norwegian Forest cat (same thing without the extra toe). Pooh looks like he’ll be enormous if he grows into those ears!

Cheers

BC

Yes, the vet said he’s going to be huge! He’s a lap cat, so of course he’s the one who’ll grow to be the size where he could squash someone.

-Kelsey

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