Wow, today my blog had more than 450 visitors, spanning the globe from over 28 countries, and it is just barely 7:30 p.m. It is exciting to know that just maybe I may be helping others who are dealing with grief. As exciting as it all sounds, it also lets me know how much of a need there is for just sharing our stories. It also speaks to how universal grief truly is.
Whether you are right around the corner, or across the globe, have religious beliefs or none at all, we all share the basic elements of grief. We all feel shocked, angry, fearful, deny that it is even happening, and eventually begin to come to grips with what has happened. We all feel, we all ache, we all know the emptiness it leaves behind.
Not one of us is immune to its grasp, we all face grief at some time in our life. If we think back to our childhoods, some of us lost pets; one day our grandma or grandpa was there, the next they were gone. I have friends who were orphaned at very young ages, losing both parents just months apart. Yet some did not have to deal with death until they were adults, and some of you have yet to deal with it.
But even if you have been fortunate enough not to have to face the death of a loved one, you have faced grief in other aspects of your life. It is funny that even when we celebrate life, we sometimes experience grief. A newly married couple, may find themselves anxious as they face their new lives. The birth of a baby can scare a father, as he realizes he is now responsible for another human being. You change jobs, buy a new home, move to a new school, graduate, just about anything that alters our lives can leave us with some anxiety, with some fears. In some cases grieving what is perceived as lost.
I only began blogging in mid-August, and every day I am floored by the number of people who visit this blog, and others of a similar nature. I remember when Rachel first died how I sought out anything relating to grief. I searched for what to expect, what was normal, what I should be concerned about. I looked up facts and information on how I should talk about grief with my two other children, my husband and other family members. I wondered how I should comfort the grandmothers, as Rachel should definitely not have died before them. You name it, or think of it, I googled it. I couldn't get enough.
When I found blogs that had discussions, I would join in, eager to soak up whatever experience they had to share. I wanted so much to know I was not alone, that I was not going crazy, that everything I was going through was in fact normal. I sometimes found blogs in the most unusual places, about 2 years after Rachel's death, I was trying to lose some weight, and I joined Nutra System. They had forums and blogs which were arranged by categories. I of course joined the newcomers group, and as I searched the categories, was amazed to find a section on grief. It was tied into overeating, and seeking out comfort food to help individuals feel better. I found people like myself, who had recently suffered the loss of a family member or friend, and were now having a hard time. Of course I joined in, and I honestly can say a gained much insight from their sharing, from our communications.
Like I have mentioned before, I also, with the help of my physician, found a great counselor who helped me through some of the more difficult times. Who helped me find ways to cope, and begin to live a more 'normal' life if you will. But the key was that I searched for help, looked for support groups, and reached out for professional help when I could no longer do it on my own.
Writing these postings is very helpful to me as well, it allows me to write down what I am feeling. By sharing my thoughts with you, I allow myself to heal, to recognize that I am moving forward in my grief. Yes, I have my days, weeks, or even months, were I still struggle with what has happened in my life. If any of you have read some of my postings around Rachel's anniversary in September, I am sure you recognized the tiredness, the sadness and the longing in my words. Of course you can't see the tears, but I know from reading other people's blogs, that you can sense when a particular entry has been a bit more difficult for the writer.
I want to thank all of you who have read my blog, who are reading it, and for anyone who stumbles upon it for the first time. I am truly grateful to all of you, and I welcome any comments, even if you just want to say hello. I am most appreciative of any advice and knowledge that you believe will help me in this journey. I also share any story that is related to me, as it may help someone else who may be reading at the time. For example, a young widow shared her blog with me entitled: A Crazy Red-Haired Lady, in which she shares her recent loss, and what she is going through, and how it has been difficult raising 3 children on her own. But it is stories like hers, and mine that help others along their way.
We find strength in each others words, in each others compassion, and in the knowledge that we are not alone. A quote that is so very true is; 'a grief shared is a grief diminished.'
Blessings! and until we meet again.