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  • Writer's pictureLarry Williamson

Permission to Grieve In My Own Way

I’ve not written anything for two weeks, a first for me since I started blogging around the first of June.  It’s been a challenging two weeks, and it is only now, in the early morning hours of September 25th that I once again feel like expressing myself. If I am the only one who ever reads this blog, then I am ok with that.  As I have said previously, sometimes you just have to write for yourself.

On Wednesday the 9th I headed to South Carolina to spend the better part of the next ten days dedicated to focusing on my book. I say the better part, because the first day was to be spent visiting my mother at the nursing home where she had been living for the past two years. It is a beautiful place filled with caring people. Mother’s room looked more like an efficiency apartment and she was so proud to show it off to her visitors. Mother had fallen the week prior and one of my sisters was terribly concerned something was going on. Upon arriving I visited mother, then met with the administrator and the nurse practitioner. After getting “educated on all the details” – while necessary, it is also sad in some ways that was the focus on that day – I again visited mother, updating her on all that I had learned, kissed her goodbye and headed off to focus on my “task” of writing.

The following day I called mother for our daily brief call – something I have done most days for the past number of years.

Note: I cannot begin to explain the role of these calls in my grieving process. With most of us today constantly carrying phones on our person, if you don’t take the time to reach out to those most important to you on a regular basis, PLEASE take a look at your own balance.  I will never be convinced that anyone is that busy.

During that day, Thursday, mother called both my sisters and I, something she rarely does. Did she have some feeling how important it was for her to speak to each of her children?  Even though we had already spoken that day, she called me just before going to bed, the last conversation we were to have. The following morning I received the call that mother had been called home.

The next week was hectic as we all focused on the details of things needing to be done. Mother had requested to be cremated and it took us five days (I’m serious) to get this done before we could transport her home to North Carolina where she could be laid to rest between my father and brother.

After celebrating her life on Saturday the 18th, we all went our separate ways, each of us heading back to resume our “normal” lives.

As a person with a strong Christian faith, I know mother is better off.  I am grateful there was no suffering, and I’m comfortable in knowing that God took mother home at the right time for her. It is never a good time for those left behind. While we may cry for ourselves, we celebrate for her. My faith has given me comfort, and I cherish every daily phone call I have made over the years.

If your parents are alive, when was the last time you called and told them you love them?

Looking back over my first full week back home, I realize I have accomplished nothing. I awake each morning with the best of intentions and a list of things I plan to get done that day, but as each day ends I find I have actually done very little. It is easy to experience some level of guilt as I say goodbye to my wife every morning as she heads off to work, and then I, who works at home, go back inside spend my day in a fog.

With the support of the most wonderful wife a man could be blessed with, I have chosen to release any potential guilt. I accept and am ok with the state of mind I have been in over this past week.  It is part of my own grieving process, and I’m sure I will experience grief in many ways over the years to come.

Why do I choose to share such a personal thing in a public post? Expressing myself through writing is something I do that serves as a release. Being able to express my feelings through writing is part of my own personal grieving process, and I give myself permission to grieve in my own way. It is my next step in moving forward.

How does grief look to you?  Are you willing to share your own personal journey as a way of helping you move forward? Offering my support to others is also a way of me expressing who I am.  God bless.

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