Sunday, July 29, 2012

Changes

I have written so much about feelings over the past months. Largely, my world at the moment. Filling up every bit of space is a 'feeling.' I often wondered was it the same before Shanny died? Did I 'feel' so intensely? I don't think so. But, this is my world for now. I am finding a way to live in it, survive in it, cope in it and love in it.

Everyone grieves differently-my daughters, you, me, Jason and the man next door. No two journeys are alike. They are our own and meant to be personal. I believe God accompanies each of us and gives us all opportunities to reach out to Him along the way. He gently takes our hand and our heart and cradles us until we are strong enough to face the world again. For some, it might mean months and maybe, years. Some of us, will never fully recover or find our "normal" again. Sadly, some of us become comfortable in our grief and choose to live their in the depth of sorrow and despair. We may turn to alcohol or drugs to drown out the
pain, or dull it for a time; but in existing inside our grief, it does not allow us to breathe or heal.

My therapist is wonderful about explaining my feelings and reassuring me I am 'normal.' My mini-breakdowns in a store, my seeing young women that look like Shanny all over the place, the memories that
bring back the terror of those last spoken words of the doctor, and all of the other incidents that I cope with daily are all part of this journey back from the loss of a loved one. It is a comfort to have someone assure me I am not losing my mind some days..

What I am noticing is that my relationship with people I once felt close to is changing. I no longer feel that
sense of kinship pain unfolded within us. There was a time that allowed us to bond within our pain. Since moving outside some of that pain, our relationship is moving in a different direction. Do I like it? No. Can
I control it? No.  I can only pray that a new bond will replace the other one built on our new found strength and ability to cope and function within our world of grief as we know it.

I must confess-some of these changes are scary. Shanny was the glue that held together some relationships in my world. Without her in it, there doesn't seem to be much reason to pursue those relationships now. They were based pretty much on Shanny as the focal point. The common link is no more a part of my world. I have no interest in maintaining the relationship, and apparently-neither do they. Does it hurt? Yes? Is it part of life? Yes. Sadness overwhelms me sometimes, when I look back on it, but it doesn't change the fact that
the pain outweighs the memory..

And that seems to be how this is progressing. Many of the friends and relationships once cherished when Shannon was here, seem to bring pain now that she isn't here. How can that be? What triggers that feeling?
 Is this something we all experience in our grief process?

What I do know is this-family is a constant in one's life. That does not change. My children and my grand-children bring me great joy and peace. I see and feel Shannon in them and through them and they comfort me. I hope some day, they will say the same of me after I am gone..that when they think of me, I made them smile.

Thank you, Shanny for teaching me so much about family values and the willingness to move past hurts and move forward in love and to cherish memories that built a loving and strong family. Thank you for showing me how faith can remove fear and how trust in the Lord can cure your biggest heart aches.

I will try to embrace change and not be afraid, and I will continue to pray because you taught me ...
the power of prayer and faith in life and now,  as a mother grieves.