Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Nature of Grief

My aunt died yesterday. It was not unexpected, though that doesn't make it any less sad. If I'm being honest, I can say that I wasn't all that close to her, but she was my daddy's sister and she has been a fixture in our lives for my entire life.

With her death I am reminded that grief is not really for those who died. Grief is for those left behind. She was in poor health -- had been for years due to being overweight and having diabetes. Someone told me last night that when the doctors told her that her heart was failing that she said she wasn't worried about herself, she was worried for her children that she was leaving behind.

When my grandfather died ten years ago after suffering for several months from lung cancer, someone said to me "Don't be sad. He's not suffering anymore." And I replied, "I'm not sad for HIM. I'm sad for ME."

My sadness comes when I think about her children, left without a mother, even though they are all grown up and have children of their own. My sadness comes from my father losing his sister. I am sad for the hole that will be left in the relationships in her family. In our family.

12 comments:

AndreAnna said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

And yes, I always felt that grief is a selfish emotion by definition most of the time. We usually don't cry for those who have died but for the pain is it causing us. And sometimes, that huge hole is a testament to the space in our lives those people took up.

photomommy said...

I'm so very sorry, sweetie.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

God Bless.

The Motherboard said...

When my husbands father died, he would tell people that he knew where his Father was, and that he would see him again. He was sad because he missed him.

Knowledge of the after-life is helpful, but the human part of us grieves because they have left a hole that we now have to figure out how to fill.

I am so sorry for you families loss. My prayers are with you in this difficult time.

ImpostorMom said...

I know how you feel. I think I've grieved more for my mother since my step-dad died than I have for actually loosing him. Strange how grief works sometimes.

for a different kind of girl said...

I'm sorry for the loss to your family. I understand completely what you say here. When my maternal grandmother died, it was so unexpected, it really seemed unfair to my Mom and my aunt, who truly thought they had time to say all they wanted to say to their mother. It's true, that whole 'we never know' thing, and I try to keep that in mind.

Timah said...

I'm very sorry for your loss.

"Grief is for those left behind." The pastor said the same thing at my Dad's funeral last year. Very true. And no matter how close you were with the person, a death always hits home for me since it's a reminder that nothing is promised.

May you and your family find strength and peace to get you through this difficult time.

Live.Love.Eat said...

So true, we're not to feel sorry for those who have left because hopefully they are in that beautiful place. But we're left here missing them. I just found out a blogger friend of mine lost her nephew not only 2 yrs of age. It hurts my heart thinking of his mom & dad & what they're going through. And then I can't help but imagine myself in their shoes, and all I want to do is hug my little one. So sad....prayers to you!!!

Mir said...

I'm sorry, hon. It's never easy when someone leaves us.

Sass E-mum said...

I'm sorry. We don't have to feel close to someone to miss having them in our lives.

1blueshi1 said...

New ones like Bubba and Punkin come in, other family members leave us. My mom attended the funeral of one of her grandparents while pregnant with me and she has told me that it gave her so much comfort at the time.
I am sorry for your loss.

Esme said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Wishing you and your family comfort, strength, and peace...

Love,
Esme

Colleen said...

I'm so sorry. :(

I hope your family is coping well with their grief.