Thursday, June 9, 2011

There Isn't Anything I Wouldn't Do For You

* Title of this post was taken from the song You've Got A Friend In Me by Randy Newman. 

I've been offered a lot of great advice or thoughts lately. Mandaly and I joke that I need a t-shirt that says "I'm a widow...Back Off!" I appreciate the unconventional ways she lets me grieve and present my anger. Here are a few other thoughts.

A good friend, Sandy, has given me some amazing advice, and I want to share one thing. She related an experience to me and I've taken her quote and used it over and over again in my head. "Melanie, that one is over. Let it go. It can't ever come back." As difficult things arise I manage to kick, scream and bite my way through them, and when they are over I always repeat those words. "This one is over. Let it go. It can't ever come back." How powerful is that. Love you Sandy!

Another good friend sent me a book a week or so ago, and I've already read it three times. So much of it hits home with how I'm feeling. The book is C.S. Lewis's The Problem of Pain / A Grief Observed. Thanks Darrell for sharing this with me. Now I get to share pieces that have given me pause. 

"In unexpected moments the voice of "common sense" tells the grieving person that he or she will get through it, get over it; but then a sharp jab of intense memory of the loved one lost hits, and the common sense disappears as quickly as it came. Then comes again the seemingly endless cycle of extremely emotional tears and pathos. Lewis said that he almost preferred the moment of agony to this. He thought the moments of agony were clean and honest."

This is exactly how I feel. I wake up or often tell myself that I can make it through the day and that this pain will eventually become less and less, but then it all comes back and I feel like I'm just deluding myself.

"This great Christian scholar commented that no one ever told him of the laziness of grief. The exception is, of course, on the job where you can function almost as a machine. But anything that required the smallest effort he hated. Not only writing but even reading a letter is too much."

Exactly! Someone asked me why I couldn't go out with friends and allow them to offer support, but I could manage to function at work. This is why! 

"An odd by-product of his loss is that he thought he was an embarrassment to everyone he met. He could see everywhere he went people trying to decide whether they should say anything about Joy's death. Jack hated it if they did or if they didn't. Some people simply avoided him. Worse than being an embarrassment, some couples were reminded that some day they would suffer such a loss, and this is a most uncomfortable feeling in its' own right."
 It's those uncomfortable silences that make talking to people so uncomfortable. I can tell that people want to ask how I'm doing, but it's hard either way and it often leaves me stumbling to fill in the awkward silences or breaks in conversation.

I will post some other thoughts from the book in later posts.  

Thanks to everyone for all your love and support!


Kate Carpenter said...

Melanie, I will see you guys tomorrow night at Cucci' you all...

lyndsey said...

Beautiful and inspiring observations. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Sounds like an amazing book. I wish I had been pointed to it in my grieving moments in my life. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family that you will continue to make it through your days and be able to enjoy the brights spots that come along. Lovely post.

Mandaly B. said...

Beautifully said! :)

Melanie said...

Kate - it was good to see you yesterday!

Lyndsey - Thank You

Katrina - It is an amazing book. Thanks for the prayers. We need them.

Mandaly - I love you!

Jill said...

well said. I love you.

Darrell said...

Melanie, I am so, so glad that book has been useful for you and that you've gotten so much out of it. I reread it myself from time to time and I'm always astounded by how insightful it is.

Angela said...

Melanie, I've just discovered your blog and have been tearing up constantly while reading it. I'm so glad you're expressing yourself. I'm the same way, I express myself through writing as well. The part of the book you quoted which talks about the awkwardness/anger of others either acknowledging your loss or conversely, NOT acknowledging it really hits home for me. I've had two tough losses in my life (not comparing to yours, but tough nonetheless), and I felt those exact feelings. If someone ignored my loss, it angered me. If someone said the "wrong thing" (which I now realize it was usually "wrong" because I was hypersensitive during the grieving process), well, that made me mad too! It is so hard to put on a happy face and put yourself out there to the world when you're going through hell. I commend you and admire you for what you have perservered!