Grief: deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement
Through my life, I’ve had seasons of relationships, several of which have come and gone naturally as people have moved away, or as men have entered and left my life.
The largest relationship that ended was the divorce of my father and I. Divorces are often referenced when speaking of marriages, but as time has moved forward through my life, I’ve come across more and more people who have moved through divorces with family members (particularly parents) and even deep friendships.
They always hurt. However, the more experiences I’ve had with them, the more I’ve been able to take things from each relationship and learn from them. Flexing self-care boundaries and advocating for one’s own needs in relationships can feel selfish early on if you aren’t used to it, but relationships that are well-balanced will be able to handle honest open communication when those needs arise. Those conversations may still be fragile (because let’s be honest, it’s still hard to say “I need this, and you aren’t meeting that need” and it’s hard to hear that and not react strongly as well.) If the relationship can’t handle those conversations, it’s a great time to start looking at that more closely.
Today I am hurting and I’m raw due to the loss of a friend. I broke up with this person last night, and I’m in mourning. I’m wishing it could be different, but also know that it was for the best, and was a long time coming. I’m angry and sad beyond belief today.
I’m experiencing literal and physical waves of grief as I have so much to say and know it will never be heard. I’m feeling that my truth is completely right, and hers is lost in her story.
I went to my massage this morning and in the middle was asked what I was experiencing and at that moment burst into tears and said “waves of grief.” I felt warm contractions of tightness all over my body moving through of pain and sadness as I started to process all the anger and frustration other feelings this situation brought up in my heart, and how the gaslighting of this interaction churned up remnants of past interactions I’d had in previous relationships. I felt, as her hands were on my neck, this shooting moving through my body that landed in the pit of my stomach that was similar to this awareness I’d have when people would say things I just knew not to be true, this visceral gut feeling like a blinking warning light screaming at me to run away, but I felt stuck. There was literally nothing to do but lie there and feel, and grieve and notice.
So for 90 minutes I lay there, felt, grieved, and noticed.
I’m feeling vulnerable, misunderstood and wanting to be a right-fighter, but knowing that none of that matters because nothing can fix this, and even if it did, it could never be the same. So it will be left, never to be talked about again and I need to face feelings of bereavement.
I have to refocus all my feelings to the future. What have I noticed is important to me?
1. I am worthy, and others I’m friends with are worthy too- I am worthy of friendship, and of people noticing me. I had people checking in on me last night after the divorce happened. I had people checking in on me today. This is how I behave as a friend towards others as well. This is friendship. I am not a last-option. I am not an accidental thumb dial when you are a purposeful consistent dial.
2. I will make time for my friends, and my friends will make time for me- I value my friendships, and I will make sure they know that. I will continue to go over and chalk their driveways with pretty messages if they are having a bad day. Or bring them Italian sodas, or drop them a text to let them know I’m thinking of them because that’s who I am. My friends will do things that will help me know that they are there for me (in their own way.) Not only will I work to get together with them, they will work to get together with ME. I will work harder to figure out creative ways to get together with my friends. I’ve realized that this is really important to me.
3. I will not just rely on Social Media for my friendships, I need more. I will continue to build relationships outside the keyboard. Social media will enhance the friendships, not be the main form of communication.
4. I will not be gaslit. I will remain true to what I know is right and true. I’ve worked hard to know what my gut feeling is, and it’s accurate. I need to listen to that feeling more and use it. It’s a powerful and amazing tool.
5. I will strengthen my friendships by sharing fun, challenging, and intellectual experiences. These things make me feel alive, and those I want to be around will also share those feelings!