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This roller coaster of grief


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It's been a tough week but an incident yesterday shook me up a lot.  I was sat in my car at lunchtime in the sunshine listening to some Taize' music (do try it on Youtube if you're not familiar with it, it's so calming) and silently in prayer when my weekly text arrived from my bank giving me my balance.  I knew I'd gone into my overdraft this month but it was rather worse than I thought and I went into a real panic and anxiety attack.  Luckily I was on my own with noone about in the car park.  The thoughts and feelings that stormed through my head were frightening............I'll lose the family home.............I'm useless...........I'm such a failure..........I've let them down........I really wish I was dead.............

I couldn't go back to work like that but had to as I had clents to see who had problems of their own.  Here in the UK we have a wonderful charity called The Samaritans (I'm not sure if they're in The States as well).  I rang them and spoke for quite for quite a while to a wonderful lady.  She reassured me that it was simply my grieving causing me to over react and panic and that it's ok but at the time I really felt like I wouldn't cope and that this was a nervous breakdown!  I've not had one for many months but looking back I see this melt-down soon passed and it will be ok.  I cannot put into words though the sheer anxiety and panic I had for 30 minutes or so and pray that it doesn't happen again for a long time.

I simply must accept that grief takes many unpleasant forms.

I called this post "the roller coaster" as the day before I had an amazing experience which gives me renewed hope.  It was the evening and I felt sad so sat down with one of my lovely cats and shed a few tears talking to mum telling her how I missed her.  When I felt better I thought I'd do some hobby work (can't always get the will to do it so this was a positive move) but noticed that several parts were missing so after a quick look around I felt disappointed and put it away.  I looked in a cupboard in the corner of the spare room and unbelievable found a box with the missing parts in..........under the box was an old birthday card signed by mum!   I had not looked in this cupboard for many, many months and to find one birthday card under the box of missing items was incredible.  I said "thanks mum" and wondered at incredible this was.....why one card under a box and that box (one of many in various cupboards) containing the very bits I was needing?   I often pray for a sign that mum and dad are still with me and watching over me and this is incredible.

Sorry to ramble on so much but I just had to write this all down even if nobody reads it.  I hope this doesn't sound daft but with all the pain over losing mum 15 months ago today I just had to write it down.

Peace and blessings to you all.



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A gift for sure, James, and it doesn't sound daft at all. And good for you for recognizing that grief takes many unpleasant forms. The panic attack you had and the feeling of "going crazy" are not unusual. Grief calls forth reactions we've never known before. They are completely unfamiliar to us, and when they happen they can frighten the dickens out of us. But each time they happen and we see that we will come out the other side, we learn that yes, they are temporary, yes, they are yet another part of our grief, and yes, we will survive them. Good for you for reaching out for the support you knew you needed at the time.  . . .

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Thank you, James, for telling us about Taize music!  It reminds me of some of the choir music I used to have in my old church where I was a part of the choir for over 20 years.  It is liturgical and soothing.

I haven't heard of The Samaritan in the US, but it sounds like a wonderful work!  I'm glad you got someone who spoke the right words to you.  It is true, grief can bring on anxiety attacks, I've had my share over the years.  But then, I have GAD so am on anti-anxiety medicine for the rest of my life.  It helps but doesn't totally alleviate it.  I get hit with it in the middle of the night if I wake up.

Negative self talk has no place within us, but can come at any time.  It helps to meditate or pray, and to listen to something positive and soothing, as you have already found.  I'm glad you have cats too, it helps to have animals, as they are de-stressing.

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