Infectiously Happy

The Guilt of Grief

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I think transparency is the best policy. In all honesty I would love to write you a both about a fun adventure or family vacation, but right now I am grieving. I feel guilty for even typing this blog but I think if I share what it feels like I might help someone. Two things happened yesterday: 1) I finally went through the last bag of mail from my Aunt’s house. There was nothing important to see, but when I opened the bag the scent of her perfume took over my whole office. It was beautiful and heart breaking, all at once. 2) I inadvertently deleted the last voicemail my Aunt left me…

My own life, like many of you, requires that I have to keep moving. Business to run, family to nurture, yoga to teach, baby growing inside… They all require a certain “get-on-with-life” that I am capable of navigating. I must also honor the fact that I am having a hard time dealing with the loss of my Aunt. Daily I am hit with waves of longing to talk with her or to receive a voicemail, it is most frequently accompanied by uncontrollable tears and followed by a deep sense of guilt. I feel guilty for suddenly making my home a solemn place or ending an evening of laughter with tears as I cry myself to sleep. I’m distracted and disorganized and that makes me feel guilty.  There is an internal dialogue that runs for me and sometimes the logical part of my brain only serves to feed my guilt.  That’s what this post is about. I’m working through it and sharing in the process…

 

 

But you seem so happy. And I am. The smile you see is real. The joy that lives in my heart is genuine. In my own attempt to manage my grief I choose to focus on my joys, instead of my suffering, but the suffering is still there. The joys keep me going. The bring me back from my tears because who can keep crying when the cutest little voice is singing Itsy Bitsy Spider to you?

 

At Least Your Aunt is not suffering. It sounds good.  I know folks are trying to help me when they say it. Sometimes it makes me feel good because it is true. The last few days I spent  with my Aunt were heartbreaking so to know that she is not in pain brings comfort, but I feel guilty for wanting her here. In our last few conversations we had to talk about what seemed inevitable but we both thought that there were months or years to say goodbye to one another. There is a guilt because part of me wishes it had all taken longer. I logically know it happened exactly as it should have. It takes time to reconcile  the heart and the head.

 

You have so much to be grateful for. I do. More things that I can list, which is why I feel so guilty about my continued tears. I often judge myself because if I am so grateful for everything else, why I am letting my suffering invade every day? My focus is gratitude, but it is difficult. There are so many people who love me and are supporting me by making space for me to be sad, reminding me of the fullness of life. It is human thing to acknowledge that in life there exists the balance of good and bad.

 

Time Heals.  Well what is taking so freaking long? I remember when my grandfather died and every day I found a quiet place on campus to cry. I cried every morning when I showered. I buried my face in the pillow so my roommates wouldn’t hear me cry myself to sleep. I am not sure when but at some point that ended. I still miss him, especially on important days (my wedding, Palmer’s birth, etc.) but it is with joy I remember him, very rarely with sorrow. If I have to miss Pat I want it to be with joy. I don’t want this lump in my throat when I have to say her name, so impatiently I wait for the whole time heals things to really work.

 

I am taking steps daily. This post is one step. I am dedicated to my yoga practice. There is a list of so many folks who support me daily with so much empathy. I know it is evolving. It will get better. I just wanted to let someone else know they are not alone. Remember we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Excuse any typos. Tears + typing = errors.

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