Sunday, October 24, 2010

Death and Denial

This weekend Joe and I saw the movie Hereafter. I didn't really like it, but that's not here nor there. The movie dealt with the afterlife.

I don't deal with death very well. In fact, I don't deal. I'll be the first to admit that I almost live in a state of denial for several months. Yes, I know denial is one of the stages of grief, but sometimes I feel like it takes me ages to get to acceptance. Other times, I'm there when the person passes.

I visited my grandfather in the nursing home the day before he died. I don't know how, but when I left that nursing home, I knew it would be the last time I saw him. I went back to my dorm and cried and bawled, and wrote in my journal about my memories with him. The next day he passed. I don't know how I knew it, but I felt I had done the majority of my grieving before he even passed.

On the other hand, when I was about 19, a close high school acquaintance died in a car accident. I went to the viewing to help support my other friends. About a year later I was scrapbooking a New Year's Eve party and it hit me, "Amy will never have another New Year's." I had to stop scrapbooking and grieve. This was such an opposite experience from my grandfather's.

Today is my in-law's 40th wedding anniversary. The problem is, Mr. Joe's not here any more. I know it's been 3 months, but I keep expecting to see him when we go watch the football games with Joe's family. Between the movie last night and time, I'm realizing I can't be in denial anymore. I'm almost afraid to grieve because then I accept the hurt I have and realize Joe and my mother-in-law are experiencing it ten to hundred times worse. I'm a fixer and I know I can't fix this. I want their pain to go away. I want my mother-in-law to have her best friend back. I want Joe to have more time with his father. I want to have another dance with Mr. Joe. I want to go back to my phase of denial, because it didn't hurt as much.


Chic Fit Geek said...

HUGS!! Some deaths are harder to grieve than others. I'm still in denial about my one aunt. She passed away while I was away on a work trip and I've never gone to see her grave and really say goodbye. Because I was alone when she passed, I never really got to cry and have someone support me. I've never really grieved.
Give yourself persmission. As much as Joe and your mother-in-law may be experiencing more pain, you're still allowed to feel your own without feeling selfish.

Amanda said...

Thanks girlie!

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