Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stitches and Sadness

I hit a wall last week.  I was tired all week as my sleep had been interrupted on several occasion with kids playing musical beds and snoring.  The kids had also been out for Easter the week before.  George had been on call for Easter weekend again out of the usual call order, and it was our first holiday without GaGa.  Tuesday, I was exhausted and zombie like.  Losing sleep is hard.

Contributing to the malaise was another procedure on Monday at the Dermatalogist's office.  A larger mole area needed to be removed from a previous biopsy because it revealed moderately atypical cells.  This time I have four stitches on my behind.  After being numbed and cut on for the fourth time since November, it's getting old.  When I'm not tired, I know that this is the course to take because of the melanoma.  

Prior to last week, we received a letter from The Hospice of Baton Rouge, and it contained a summary of "Natural and Normal Grief Responses." I immediately dismissed it, because you know, I am above grief.  {big smile} There's that ego, been there, done that.  After several days of this tiredness, lacking energy and motivation, and sadness,  I took a second look at that grief response list.  There were a couple of items listed that stood out: feeling emotionally numb, feeling restless and finding it difficult to concentrate, feeling exhausted, lacking energy, not being able to make decisions.  Well, we might be on to something here.

What I was hoping is I had grieved it all before she died because it had been such a long journey. Which translates to "I didn't want to feel more sadness, or cry anymore and I'm tired of feeling "negative" emotions."  (I call them negative emotions to differentiate between the easier feelings to go through.  I have to wrap my arms around ALL feelings because they just are and pushing feelings down is detrimental to me)

I looked up the Stages of Grief.  The first is shock and denial.  When I read it, I just started laughing at myself.  I was in such denial that I would have to feel more pain.  Stage 2 is: As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.  (or food...)

I'm giving myself permission to grieve now,  I cannot pretend that all is fine, and I'm above it.  Being in grief, also means I am more vulnerable to my other triggers.  The people, situations, and thought patterns that I have worked through are coming around again to visit.  It helps to remember; I'm in grief, be kind to myself, the pain will flow through.

"You give yourself permission to grieve by recognizing the need for grieving. Grieving is the natural way of working through the loss of a love. Grieving is not weakness nor absence of faith. Grieving is as natural as crying when you are hurt, sleeping when you are tired or sneezing when your nose itches. It is nature's way of healing a broken heart." - Doug Manning

"To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which  excludes the ability to experience happiness" Erich Fromm

"While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates.  You must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it." Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

~~~It is amazing when I find a quote from 300 years ago that speaks to exactly what I'm feeling~~~


  1. Thank you for this post...I also think that we (or maybe just me), tends to think that grief = sadness and crying, when in fact, as you pointed out, it can also = fatigue, inability to make decisions, brain fog, etc. etc. I also think it expresses itself physically too. Now well more than a year after my father's death, I can look back at the various stages and the way they played out and say, "ahhhh...now I get it."

    Continued prayers and good thoughts for your skin!!

    1. Karen - Thank you for the prayers and good thoughts.