As hard as it was — If You hadn’t assured me that Patty was “Vibrant, Radiant, Alive and with YOU” — how much harder it would have been. Or, actually, would be.
Being a Believer, it was all too easy to rejoice in Patty being with You in Heaven. My Spirit knew that and gave praise. But, while I had wept . . . during her illness . . . afterwards I took the grief and tucked it deep inside and froze.
I realize now that is the third response to major stress. Fight, against Death? Flee from reality? Ah, but FREEZE! It seemed perfect. I could even picture my frozen inland sea — deep inside me. It was so big that I could picture old fashioned sailing ships moored at the dock. Their sails were furled and stiff with ice. No waves lapped the shore. It was all ice.
My surface grew flowers. I’m a Seven on the Enneagram. We laugh a lot and are always looking for the silver lining. But my core was frozen. SOLID. This was not good. But, looking back I can see that this was the way my family handled — or didn’t handle — grief.
How I wished I was Italian or Jewish or from some culture that knows HOW to grieve. Knows HOW to weep and weep some more. How I wished I was from a culture that had a prescribed ritual I could have done at set intervals.
But, I am doing better now at going back — into the frozen sea — the water now laps at the shore. I am in a grief group for mothers. And I am befriending Sorrow. She has a lot to teach me.
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