Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Grieving Process

It's been more than a week now since my pa passed away, and I still mourn him. But I have stopped crying every 10 minutes. Finally! When I was stuck in Portland, I was crying at random times. I was out walking, looking for the YWCA and I kept having to stop because I would start crying and could not stop. I did not expect anyone on the streets to understand how and why I felt the way I did. But really, no one stopped to ask. To them, I was just a homeless person who was perhaps crying because "society let me down". But that was not the case. Funny how people assume things based on how things look on the surface. I'm not saying people looked at me and assumed anything or not, or even cared. Just that is probably what they would have thought if they did know what was going on behind the shades I was wearing.

That was the beginning of my process of grieving. I still cry sometimes, just not every 10 minutes anymore. Having to take the bus home kinda hindered a lot of that, but sometimes I would cut loose and let the tears fall freely. I did a lot of crying once I was back in my home, lying on my own bed with my favorite pic of Michael and Timmy. Michael and Timmy kindof acted as a teddy bear to me. They were something to hold close to me in comfort. I have plush animals, but they are more for decoration than for cuddling. Besides that, Michael and Timmy are so beautiful, they are comforting to look at. But I lied there and cried and cried and cried until I couldn't no more. I think I stopped about 2 days after I got home. This past week has been spent mostly just drying my tears, and working on getting out of that circle of grief. Been doing some things to get my mind off of what happened.

Usually, when someone I love dies, I go into shock. Crying is not always immediate. I go through a period of shock, which can last for a few hours to a few weeks. When Michael died back in 1997, I was in shock the first few hours after I heard the news. I didn't cry yet, I was just in shock. It wasn't until I got into my portal (the bathroom) and was getting ready to take a shower that I started to cry. When my grandma died in 2001, I was in shock for 4 days, until the funeral. Then, I really cried a lot. It seems the longer the shock lasts, the more severe it is when I do start crying. I cried when Michael died and I haven't yet stopped. When I watch that INXS movie, I am always reminded that he is no longer here and sometimes I start crying. Sometimes however, I don't. I can turn it off if I want to, and usually try to, because I love watching that ending! Michael's singing of Never Tear Us Apart at Wembley is an awesome performance. Too good to miss due to sad feelings.

When grandma died, shortly after, I even went through a period where I was hostile to everyone. I wonder if that's going to happen now. I went through the same thing when I lost Groucho, my dog, in 2006. I had a period of anger and resentment towards everyone! Groucho's case was more severe than grandma's. Someone killed her, and I started to suspect everyone of that. I pointed fingers at everyone. No one was safe from me blaming them. Groucho was poisoned. At first, antifreeze was the suspect. But I did not keep antifreeze, and even if I did, the garage was closed off from the yard. The only way any antifreeze could have gotten in the yard was if someone else had some and poured it into our yard and Groucho got ahold of it. I remember just before she died, she did puke up a lot of grass. She was pregnant at the time she died, so I not only lost her, but her babies too. Losing her was a serious blow to the future of our kennel too.

Right this minute, I think I am in that quiet stage just after crying, where you feel at peace. It helps a little knowing dad was never sad or bitter about getting sick, and even still went for 5 mile long walks even after his diagnosis. I still miss him terribly. I still think about him. The hardest thing for me though is to delete his phone number from my cell phone. I know eventually I will do it. But right now, I just cannot bring myself to do it. I need to come to terms with the fact he is no longer with us. That may take a while. Ma told me it was 6 months before she could delete grandma's number off her cell phone after she died. I remember when I was sitting in the lobby at the restaurant, I looked at my cell phone and saw dad's number in my contacts. I tried to delete it, but I couldn't. I felt awful! To this day, I still cannot bring myself to delete it.

What I hate is when it's been a few months after a tragic event like this happens, and people are saying "It's been --- months/years/days since {so-n-so} died. Get over it!" I hate it when people say that! There is no limit to how long a person can grieve. Sometimes it can take years to get over something like that. I remember when I used to work at the humane society, bathing puppies. I met a woman whose mom had not had a dog for over 20 years. The reason was she'd had a dachshund that she loved so much, and when it died her mom was so stricken with grief that she didn't want another pet. That was over 20 years before! I was 18 at the time. That woman's mom had been grieving for more years than I'd been alive! But again, some people carry grief for a lot longer than others. Don't ever let anyone tell you how long you can carry that grief. Carry it as long as you feel it's necessary. The fact that my father was OK with dying (he said "everyone has to go sometime" when I first heard what was happening to him) helps me heal a little. But the fact that I have to go on with him not here is what hurts me. I guess I am crying more for myself. Not him.

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