Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bill of Rights for Grief

From insomnia straight into a full fledge "sleeping beauty syndrome", like that Pennsylvania girl who has Kleine-Levin Syndrome, I slept well over 12 hrs last night. Periodically, Mad would shake me and ask, "Are you ok?" I was in a zombie-like state, staring at her not knowing what she was asking me - just seeing her lips move. Usually, I can't go to sleep at all, and if I do, I get these crazy jolts that wake me up. Some doctors believe it's sleep apnea, but it's only when I'm filled with anxiety. Mad watches over me while I sleep sometimes, and when I get these jolts, she notices that my breathing never stopped once. I even get these 'jolts' while I'm awake, but when I'm overtired. It's more neurological or something. I'm not sure. Doctors want me to take a sleep test, but I know for a fact I will never fall asleep. Even while being in the hospital overnight, I didn't sleep one second.  Yesterday was a very trying day for me, emotionally-wise, so I attribute the much needed 12 hr rest to letting it all out - letting the anxiety and sadness out. I guess there's something to that.

I seem to be suffering from a lot of fear. It's held in for the most part, and after some time, it's let out by these jolts while I try to go to sleep. I fear about a lot of things: my mom's well-being, the vulnerability of all of us just being mortal, and even just growing old itself scares the shit out of me. It scares me to the point of making myself sick. It's quite obvious though, when I'm further away from my faith, that's when the fear kicks in more. I seem to be going through phases and right now, I'm recouping from a week of total panic. I know with the holidays coming up, I have this heavy feeling in my chest about our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without Dad. After the week I've been through, I decided to reach out and join a bereavement support group which is conveniently right around the corner from me. I guess a lot of things are hitting me hard lately and I'm not sure how to deal with it. I haven't been myself lately at all. I've been pushing my close friends further away, and that's not what I want. If I venture out at all for anything of a social nature, it's going out to dinner with the family or visiting them at their houses. And even that's even rare sometimes.

I found a girl named, Emily who has a blog over here. She lost her husband and deals with her loss by blogging for the most part. I found something she had posted that I want to share with you or anyone who may be going through a loss of a loved one. I'm hoping this may help my sisters too. Thanks, Emily...

"Bill of Rights for Grief" (Source: http://family.lifegoesstrong.com/article/bill-rights-grieving)

  1. You have the right to take whatever path you take through your grief without judgment. 
  2. You have the right to ignore or incorporate any or all of the MOUNTAINS of advice you will get. 
  3. You have the right to say: "No thank you." 
  4. You have the right to grieve for whatever you have lost, including things you never had but ache for, like phantom limb pain. 
  5. You have the right to ask people to bring you pizza, not platitudes. 
  6. You have the right to your own definition of grief. For someone else the loss may have some unknowable reason; it may be a journey, a blessing 'in disguise', bad karma, a teachable moment, part of a plan, a test, a process, a choice. It doesn't have to be any of those things for you. It can simply be where you are at the time. Or it can be senseless, stupid, meaningless and profoundly awful. 
  7. You have the right not to be grateful, reasonable, inspired or inspiring. 
  8. You have the right not to feel or believe or be comforted by any of the following: "he's in a better place; his work here was done; she's in your heart; it's a blessing; it's no one's fault; time heals all wounds; you'll find a new one; it could have been worse." 
  9. You have the right to buzz around, filling your life with activities and people so you don't have to feel a thing. 
  10. You have the right to feel what you can feel when you can feel it. Be numb when you are numb. Seek comfort when you can stand to. Sometimes the deep fog of grief can make all intimacy too painful - any feelings unbearable. You have the right not to bear them even when everyone around you says you MUST FEEL YOUR FEELINGS OR YOU WILL NEVER MOVE ON. 
  11. You have the right not to "move on." 
  12. You have the right to ungodly, ugly, blind rage. 
  13. You have the right to feel complete, utter hopelessness and despair, and to say – out loud – over and over, that it will never get better, you will never feel better – without everyone shushing you. 
  14. You have the right to eat or sing or say whatever you want. 
  15. You have the right to be inalterably changed. The person you were before the death of your loved one is gone. You are now someone else. You don't know who yet. It's your right to find out.
  16. You have the right to experience the many tricky, shape-shifting forms grief takes in whatever order you experience them: Here it looks like rage. There it takes the shape of obsession. It has many forms. They are all true. They are all lies. 
  17. You have the right to stay where you are. Sometimes there are no signs at all and you are moving through grief's darkest depths without knowing it. It's like starting on the bottom floor of an elevator in the deepest core of the earth. Each floor you go up, the doors open, only to reveal more darkness. It all looks and feels the same, but it is not. You are moving toward where you need to be. 
  18. You have the right to self-pity, selfishness, self-loathing, self-awareness. You have the right to be YOURSELF. Deep grief is a profoundly lonely experience, and yet, it binds us all. We all walk beside you, which will give you comfort when you are ready.


For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter.