How does Grief really feel?

So often you hear that grief comes in waves. I get that. You don’t always feel sad. Sometimes you are actually fine or numb and not feeling much of anything. Then out of nowhere, it hits you.

This giant wave of grief!

Just a minute ago you thought you were doing OK. You were going through the motions. Faking it until you make it. Keeping a chin up or something like that.

You attempt to get back to life before this terrible loss. It is hard. You don’t really want to but you know you should. You practice.

After a few tries, it gets a little easier. You can go out to the store. Or back to work. Or be around your family.

You start to watch for those unexpected waves. Here comes one (a holiday or anniversary) Yikes. Prepare. Take a deep breath. Dive under.

Come up on the other side. You survived. Yay you.

But guess what. There will be more. You can’t plan for them all.

Sometimes you just have to prep. Get ready and ride that wave – it could get rough and you may even get tumbled but you will get back up again.

Grief is like an Ocean filled with waves.

But if you don’t have much experience with riding waves at the beach, grief is a lot like a road filled with potholes.

Oh yes! In the beginning, you can’t see much in front of you except these big dark potholes. And somehow you are traveling the road of life at the bottom of this awful, dark pit. You want to stay and be sad. There’s no need to get out. Despair.

But somehow you know you can’t stay there forever. You need to move forward. You pull up your bootstraps and step out of that pot hole back onto the road. You can do this.

But watch – the road is filled with potholes. They are big and they are deep. You can’t really avoid them all. You have to go through them. It’s sludgy and uncomfortable but you know it is only temporary. You don’t need to stay there. Keep going.

You get out and the pot holes become smaller and further apart. You can see them coming. You can prepare and anticipate your actions to the upcoming trap. Your confidence builds. You will make it through this one and get around the upcoming corner.

The potholes aren’t gone forever. They show up sometimes and can even be unexpected. A simple song or smell or memory but you know how to deal. You’ve been here before and it’s OK now.

Grief is like a road filled with potholes.

I am feeling so sad for those children in that classroom in Texas.

I remember our practice drills in my kindergarten class. We have 12 fire drills each year but when is the last time you heard of a classroom of children being burned to death? Yes. We practiced “shooter in the building” drills too. We turn off lights, lock the door and cover the classroom door window with a poster. We get 22 five year olds to hide in the corner away from the door and stay quiet. Sure we practiced. That doesn’t do squat against these automatic machine guns.

My heart hurts today. God bless those families and children in Texas.


4 Responses

  1. A couple of years ago my district pivoted and told us we could stray from the “sitting ducks” method (my term, not theirs) of active shooter avoidance. If we thought we could get out of the building, we should run for it. If we were in a room waiting and the intruder broke in, we were encouraged to throw things at him (or her, but let’s be honest here – it’s probably going to be a him). It’s rotten that we even have to have training on stuff like this.
    I appreciate your post. I’m going to send it to my brother-in-law who is still in terrible mourning 18 months into widowerhood.

    1. Interesting. My classroom had windows into a courtyard- I sometimes wondered about that escape route. Thanks for sharing my post 💔

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Runaway Widow
Join me, Kristin, on my journey to adjust to the sudden death of my husband and learn to live as a young, middle-aged, remarried widow.

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