Good Grief

Today would have been my mom’s 58th birthday. She died when I was 18years old. In the years since her death, I have been a roller coaster of emotions, regarding not only the loss of my mom, but loss in general.
I know some people who seem to rarely have a death in the family, I’m not one of those people. Since I can remember, family members have been dying around me, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, etc. That coupled with the fact that I work in television news, where we report death daily, has made me a little jaded when it comes to death. Don’t get me wrong it affects me, but I consider myself, a “strong” person when it comes to losing a loved one.
Then, yesterday, as we were leaving church, I received a message that a childhood friend died in Afghanistan, while serving our country. The vehicle he and three other soldiers was riding in rolled over and all four were killed. I lost it and burst into tears. My husband had no clue what was wrong with me, and it took me a while to compose myself and be able to tell him. Mind you, this was a friend from my childhood, and since then we had only spoken a time or two on Facebook, but the news just shook me up. It also caught me off guard. I was the “strong” one, why in the world am I having such a hard time with this? A friend told me the reaction is because it was sudden & we’d known him for so long. As I type this now, I get it, she was right.
The difference between this and the majority of the losses I’ve experienced, is how sudden it was. My mom had LUPUS, my dad had lung cancer an other family members all had some long illness. Thinking back, it has been the sudden losses that always get me. Two cousins, two friends when I was in middle school, now this. What got me through then and what I know will get me through now, is faith and knowing HOW to grieve. Sometimes I wonder why it always seems to be my family that suffers the most. Then, I witness someone deal with a loss for the first time. Not everyone can deal with a great loss, an survive it, mentally or physically. I’ve witnessed someone, literally, “grieve” themselves to death. So, when a loss hits me hard, I grieve and let it out and in the days, months and weeks that follow, whenever I need to, I grieve. I just let it out, have a good cry and get back to my life.
All these years I was feeling cursed but I’m blessed. Blessed that I understand how good grief can be, an odd but very true statement. So, today, I grieve the loss of my mommy and my friend. Tomorrow, I live for them.

1 Comment

  • Reply Kita June 21, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Thank you for this. I needed to hear it. I lost my mom to cancer also and I knew she was dying it changed how I grieved. Ever since I was little my mom took me to funerals and taught me about death. She use to tell me we all have to die don’t cry for me live your life how I taught you and be thankful that I dont’ have to go through sickness or earthly things anymore. At the time I thought she was crazy but when it came to loosing 4 of my family members within a year including my mom and grandma I coped. Sudden death is different and i think people cope with it in a different way. I agree today we grieve tomorow we live.

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