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Felt "weird" Today


LoriS.

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I am wondering if this has happened to anyone. Since my mom died (Oct. 06), I went to the grocery store just to pick up a couple things here and there. I even avoided the big grocery stores and went to a small store by my house as to avoid seeing anyone I might know in the big grocery store. For the last three months, my husband and I would get "to go" or go out to eat at odd times where there wouldn't see a lot of people. I cook maybe twice a week at best and even then it is simple stuff. My husband pitches in, but it is mostly "to go"

We really needed food in the house, so after running a few errands, I decided that I really needed to go to the "big" grocery store. I did just fine, was very focused, and really didn't think much about it. When I got to my car to unload my groceries, it just felt normal. When I got inside my car (all this among snow and rain just north of Los Angeles), that's when it hit me: am I betraying my mom because I was actually able to do something that I needed to do? I felt "bad" for saying hi to someone (who didn't know my mom passed away)and when she asked me how I was, I said fine...without even thinking to say anything about my mom. I was actually listening to what she had to say...not that I was so interested, but I didn't feel the need to bring it up. I consciously didn't want to bring it up. Am I learning to adjust? Is it too soon? All these things are going through my mind when I got into my car. Than later one of my friends called and I burst out crying when I was talking to her and when I hung up, I was glad that I was able to get in touch with my feelings of grief. It hurts so much to be sad, yet at that moment when I was talking to my friend on the phone, I was glad to be sad...as if it was better to be sad, than to have completed the task of the grocery store, and actually accomplishing something while in the process of grieving.

I am sorry to be rambling, but I just wanted to know if by accomplishing something, and grieving at the same time...does that mean we are adjusting and it's ok and not a betrayel to our loved one who we lost? I already know the "logical" answer, but my heart says different.

Thanks in advance to everyone!

Lori

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Lori,

I know how you feel. Like, how can I be cooking dinner or shopping when I'm grieveing and in so much pain? I think the truth is that we do what we have to do, regardless of our circunstances. And that is healthy. You are not betraying your lost loved one (as you already know) or "forgetting' them. I understand that feeling and have had it myself. We just eventually (and hopefully) have to get on with the daily grind of life. It feels weird at first, but it is good and healing. You have to be proud of yourself that you can grieve and be in so much pain, but have the grit (the only word I can think of!) to get through your days and do what you have to, not only for yourself, but for your other loved ones. I have found that being sad is "easy". Being "normal" and living each day takes a heck of a lot of gut wrenching work! That's why it's called grief work, I guess! So, be proud of yourself and don't feel guilty. Hope this helps sort out your feelings, which in grief are mighty confusing!

Hugs,

Shell

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Hi Lori and Shell and everyone else...

I am so glad someone has touched on this right now in the forum, because it is something I'm trying to figure out as well. I've learned that the emotions and reasons for them are so different in grief than in other stressful situattions. I don't know if that made sense, but my point is...it feels like my actions don't make sense right now.I have been having the same issue with either thinking of or doing things that would indicate getting back to life as usual...and somewhere deep inside (where I can't consciously see it)there is something that stops me cold and i think the unspoken thought is.."your best friend died, there is nothing that you should or can enjoy"...or "it's wrong or disrespectful to feel good"...at times I feel guilt. I guess it's confusing because consciously I know it's ok for me to get on with my life, but emotionally and somewhere deep in my soul I feel I have been wounded beyond words and some primal force inside of me feels such saddness...it overtakes my ability to rationalize.Yeesh...I'm not sure what I just wrote, but I hope it makes sense.Marie

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Lori,

I am always amazed when I read someone's post and it describes my feelings exactly. I went to the grocery store yesterday for the first time since my mom died.(Dec.7th). I was so proud of myself. I know what you mean when you said you were thinking clearly. I came home and even made dinner. Then I worried too, was I moving on too quickly, too easily? That night I went to my son's soccer meeting. Some parents knew about my mom, some didn't. I didn't talk about it to the parents that didn't know. And it felt okay. I remember my last thought before I went to sleep was "I am going to be okay"..I am so sad and cry so often, but I know in time I will be okay. I will always miss my mom but I know she would want me to heal and take care of my family. So, that's what I am working towards. Today, I might even tackle the mountains of laundry I have! I hope you have a good day.

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Thanks guys for validating my feelings!!!

I really appreciate it! Shell, you hit the nail on the head when you said that it's easier to stay sad and the actual act of living is gut wrenching work.

I hope other people respond to this with their experiences so that we can all see that it's ok to do "normal" things while in the process of grieving.

Thanks again everyone for your posts and support!

Lori

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Dear Ones,

You may be interested in the article I've just posted in The Latest News Forum entitled Disloyalty. Your comments also remind me of a wonderful piece from Stephanie Ericsson's book that appears on the Comfort for Grieving Hearts page of my Grief Healing Web site:

Dare I Smile?

One day, about five weeks after you died,

I was happy.

It was a bright and brisk winter day,

and I was buying Christmas presents.

That day I thought about what might make my friends happy,

and it made me happy.

I bought funny little gifts that cost too much,

and wrapped them in a rainbow tangle of ribbons.

I was ashamed that I was smiling.

What if someone saw me happy?

Would they think I was glad you had died?

Was I?

Don’t get me wrong, I had smiled in those five weeks,

I had laughed at black humor,

or smiled constipated smiles

that tried to relieve people of their utter helplessness.

I had smiled and said I was fine

to avoid the true answer.

No one could do anything about my pain,

and their pain, at the sight of my pain,

was too much for me to handle.

This happiness was unprompted.

It came from within.

It came from a reinstatement of love within me.

It came from getting out of myself

for a few hours to give to others.

It was healing.

I wanted to hide my smiles,

but at the same time

I wanted to relish the warmth of them.

I had earned these smiles.

I had missed them, missed happiness.

That day I began to realize that I would,

someday,

be happy again.

— Stephanie Ericsson, in Companion through the Darkness

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J. is gone with the kids and it saddens me to think I can’t just get in my car every weekend and go see them. But my own family is glad to have me home again. T. was all about family and she would not want their lives disrupted anymore than necessary. I too went shopping this weekend and it felt good to get back in my routine. I even drove the interstate home without flashing back to the night she died. I know she is been proud that I was moving forward again. The biggest joy in this was seeing my kids fall back into a “normal” mode and not worrying about mom. They were also thrilled that there was “real food” in the fridge and that mom was going to cook again.

I realized today that my pain is connected to my love of my sister. How can they not go hand in hand when contemplating her loss? If I did not love her, I would only see her obituary and feel sadness for the family and move on. But isn’t that what my sister would want? I know that I will grieve longer for her because I loved her so much, but she would be devastated if I wrapped myself up like a blanket in the sorrow of her loss and neglected the other people I love. She would want me to see the joy in every day like she did. The day she died was a beautiful day, one of the last of the year. She told her husband to take the kids to the park because they should not miss that day. That is how she lived.

Now, every time I feel sad, I let the tears come and then top it off with a good memory of her and there are a lot of them.

We grieve as deeply as we love

Our tears mingle with laughter

There is hope in this path

That leads us in sorrow

Peace is what we are after.

Janine

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That was beautiful, Janine. Thanks for that! We don't want to be miserable for the rest of our lives. Our loved ones would only want the best for us and to continue in our journey to peace and to make sense of this all. Sometimes I can feel my mom smiling as I am starting to smile and laugh again. She and I used to laugh together all the time. When my husband asked me to make his favorite chicken dish for dinner tonight, without hesitation I said ok and didn't think that I might be laying in bed and missing my mom. I DO miss my mom...terribly, but I don't want to miss out on my own life either. Every day is a new beginning and I look forward to this new year and what it will bring. I have a daughter getting married in October and I know that my mom and dad will be there in spirit. This website has helped me tremendously with all of everyones kind support. Marty has a great email course about the first year of grieving that I subscribe to and it is very enlightning and helpful. I would reccommend it to anybody going through what we are all going through. The reccomendation is to recieve the emails every 2 weeks, but I wanted them sent every day so I can print them out and refer back to them when I want.

I hope everyone is doing ok...one moment at a time.

Lori

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Hello,

I can relate to all that Janine and Lori have written.

My mom was sick for 2 years, very sick for the last one. I have horses and have not ridden for the last year. Just would run in give them hay/water and out the door to take care of my mom. Yesterday, I was having a hard day(being so sad) I went to the barn, spent hours , grooming the horses, cleaning out the barn..etc. I still didn't ride but it felt so great to just hang out with them again.I was covered in hair, dirt and hay, it was great. My mom loved horses and knew how much they mean to me. My husband came down and said it was so good to see me in the barn, and smiling again. I have been a volunteer with a theraputic riding group for kids with disabilities for 8 years, again..last year I didn't participate. I went the other day and one of the parents of a rider, came up and hugged me and said "welcome back"..that's how it feels about everything, like I have been gone from my life and slowly, I am coming back. I too, try and have a happy memory of my mom, after a grief burst.(I think that's a good name for those moments of overwhelming sadness and tears.)

Thanks for listening.

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Annie,

I have a very good friend who volunteers in a theraputic riding group for kids with disabilities, too. She says that being with those kids in all their innocence and truth really is theraputic for her as she moves through her own daily life. She hasn't lost a parent or anyone super close to her yet, but she is a very sensitive, kind, caring person as probably you are. To have the patience that you have for that job takes a special type of person. As you start to give back to those kids, I'll bet you see trememdous growth within yourself. And I'll bet it felt good to get down and dirty with the horses, too!

Love and hugs, Lori

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