Tuesday, March 02, 2010

And the Grief Goes On

A month into the grieving process, the bereaved is like a Superball whipped hard into an empty room in a vacuum at zero G. Other objects and substances are injected into the room from time to time. Sticky items impede the ball or stop it completely, but inevitably something explodes and launches it again, up, down and off the wall.

Actually it's not like that at all. You can use physics to predict the motion of the ball, but you have no way to know which way the aching mind and heart of a human being will go next. You might predict with 80 percent accuracy, but the remaining 20 percent error is more than enough to make a situation worse. Grief amplifies every stress you already had, as well as dumping on its own unbelievable load.

At times she can be deceptively normal. Don't be fooled. The year is only a twelfth gone. And some vestige of the pain will be with her forever. Hopefully the random outbursts of anger and the harsh comparisons to the lives and luck of others will cease. There is no set schedule for these things, only some data on averages.

People have to decide early in life: do you want to be lovable and beloved, and leave a gaping, aching hole when you die, or be surly and cold, however useful and virtuous, so people are just as glad when you're gone?

I've tended to be clinical. Some view that as cold. I think of it as keeping a solid stance from which to offer genuine help, not just sympathetic emotion. I have to stay on balance as much as possible in a surging tide of unbalancing forces that can as suddenly turn into a placid sea, only to spew forth a monster from the depths that turns out to be a playful otter that gets eaten by a shark and a beautiful sunset leads to a black night and so on.

All the while, important decisions have to be made, as in any life. Advice from others who have grieved says to avoid making important decisions for as long as the random agonies are going on, but life doesn't wait. You can only make what seems like the best decision at the time. To those inclined to worry, there's always something to worry about. To those inclined to regret, the same principle applies, even under the best circumstances. You move forward even when you try not to move.

No comments: