Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Accepting Grief

Today we found out that a dear one, my husband's grandmother, is probably close to the end of her life. As I write this, I'm waiting for David to come home so that we can see her one more time. I've learned a lot about how I grieve over the last few hours.

I grieve openly. The second my son got into the car, he immediately told me I didn't sound very good and wanted to know what was wrong. When my daughter came into the house an hour and a half later, the first words out of her mouth were: "Mom, what's wrong?" I wasn't crying openly but I was clearly carrying sadness and grief. Even as I waited in the pickup line for my son, I could feel the grief in the air around me - as if it was a tangible fog. A few years ago I would have tried to pretend everything was ok, but I'm now mature enough to realize that it wouldn't work anyway and - at worst - it might make my children think I didn't care about what's going on right now. I wear my emotions openly and I probably always will.

I also need to be accomplishing something tangible as I grieve. We're fortunate in that we already have a babysitter scheduled for tonight - it was supposed to be date night. That gives us the opportunity to head out to the nursing home so David can say goodbye.Our babysitter is wonderful and the kids love her - she'll be a real support to them. I've been digging through the pantry, preparing dinner for the three of them because it's very, very important to me that I have a hot dinner on the table for my kids and their caretaker before I leave the house. I really wanted to get a fresh loaf of bread in the oven but the timing won't work out. Instead - it's a pretty kid-centric meal of frozen fish fillets (in the oven now), organic macaroni and cheese, and pineapple. Lemon Jello will be their dessert if it sets in time.

Obviously - I also feel the need to write about my grief - even before it's really begun. Our dear grandmother is still with us and plenty of people would be able to put it all aside for a while. I need to start processing now and today I accept that about myself. Most importantly - I want to be a support to David and the kids as they face their own grief. I believe that when we're open with each other about our grief, we are able to love more deeply.

This is my way. Open, tangible, honest. Because I don't want to go through life alone.

1 comment:

Megan Willome said...

I'm so sorry, Jenn.

I know my kids have learned a lot, watching me grieve this last year+. I realized I never got to see my mom grieve, because her mom is still alive (97 today), and she lost her dad in high school.

Also, my kids are experiencing their own grief. It's part of our shared history as a family. Who can forget Brooks (8 at the time) giving my mom $2 in change, wrapped in computer paper? She said, "It's my toll!"