“You seem sad.”
“You are always sad.”
“Your blogs are sad.”
Hmm…is that true?
I am sad sometimes, but not always. My stories have elements of sadness, but not in total. Isn’t it okay to be sad at times? Isn’t okay to talk about it or write about it? Yes, it is.
I have a white button-up fitted blouse. I bought it a high-end store and it goes with everything. I can wear it for work, special occasions and everyday casual. Last time I wore it I accidentally made a mark on it with a blue ink pen, which I didn’t notice until later when I was trying to get out the stains of splattered sauce from hot chicken wings. I am trying everything I know to remove the stains, but this particular type of fabric just isn’t giving way. I’m at a standstill. Do I keep trying? Do I throw it away? Do I put it in the back of my closet and save for when I need to do some messy cleaning? The reality is the stain is not going away.
The reality is grief has stained my life and it’s not going away. Do I ignore it? Do I put it in the back of my mind and save it for messy cleanups?
I don’t write to work out my grief. That stain isn’t going away by writing. I am not an expert on grieving. And I pretty sure all the experts aren’t either. All I know for sure is my own experience. And it helps me to know others’. No two are completely alike, but when we discover something in common we find comfort. When I share my sadness, my experience, or my hope someone (or maybe more) is comforted.
I am not an angry griever now, but I do understand why people are. When my brother died I didn’t have freedom to cry or grieve openly. It made people uncomfortable. Then my son died and I became an angry griever, because nobody was going to deny me my grief. Especially when I was told I needed to move on because people die all the time. (There’s one for the book – What Not to Say) That was said 2 years after my brother died and only 6 months after my son died.
Twenty years later my husband dies. That was 2 years, 9 months and 22 days ago. Am I still grieving? Of course I am, but not every moment, not everyday, not even every week. I’m not stuck in the grieving. I am living through the grieving.
I’m still making people uncomfortable, though. One family member told me I talk too much about Jim. It makes her sad. Another told me she didn’t want to hear any more talk about Jim from anyone else, because it also made her sad. Others just don’t talk to me. I’m convinced it’s because they’ve put their stain of grief in the back closet.
And one more thing, a grieving person doesn’t forget those who are still living. A few months after my son died someone told me not to forget about my daughter. (Another one for the book) How utterly ridiculous and hurtful. So don’t think because I may write about Jim that I have forgotten the living. Never!
I don’t write to work out my grief. That stain isn’t going away by writing. I write because there is always hope even in the darkest times. Read between the lines of sadness and see the hope.
2 Cor 1:3-4