Being with people who are grieving is not an easy place to be. Many of us want to fix things and offer well-intentioned solutions, space fillers, or clichés. This cannot be solved or fixed. The complaint process does not have a set timeline or deadline, it is always a starting point with a line that may fade over time, but most likely will not have an end point.
personal vs professional experience
My personal experience as a counselor working with many clients over the past few years has given me a lot of exposure. However, nothing, neither training nor experience, has really prepared me for what life had in store for me on my journey through the grief of losing my son.
Grief is a lonely road to walk and many of the ‘not so nice’ moments and feelings go unshared because people don’t know how to handle me and react with silence or have distanced themselves. I don’t know how to be with myself when uncontrollable frustration and anger set in or unbearable sadness renders me powerless. I silently watch as I collapse into self-destructive thoughts.
When I am angry or frustrated, I can easily find things to project my anger onto. There are many things that bother me and sometimes unfortunately even the people closest to me are in the firing line of my projection. It’s not about them or the things they do or say that bother me; It’s hard right now at this very moment. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to say, what counts is being there. Your support and understanding is needed. I know I ask a lot, although sometimes I don’t understand myself.
Cut in half
I feel emotionally cut in half, carrying a double-edged sword: one side happy for the twin I have with me in physical form, the other side torn by grief and loss for the twin I lost, the one to be. Never grow up with us. She was so small and the image of her will remain etched in my memory as I held her helpless little body in my arms for the first and only time.
Tears are shed in private. I usually stay alone when I’m sad. That’s probably why people think ‘I’m fine’. It’s like I can see them sigh in relief that they don’t have to deal with the uncontrollable reality of their own relationship with pain.