Day 43 — Grief
We’ve already had the word Sorrow on this challenge. And even before that I had blogged about the greatest sorrow I feel I’ve had in my life. But for me Grief is kind of a different thing. For me it’s that instantaneous moment when reality sinks in and knocks the breath out of me. I didn’t have that experience with my folks’ deaths or even at Bran and Mariel’s reception. There was no grief (as I define it). I moved right into sorrow in those situations.
They were not unexpected. There was time to prepare. My parents were both in poor health. It was not IF they were going to pass away, it was WHEN. And with the wedding and reception, there had been so much antagonism and contention all along, both in the planning of the event and their relationship itself, that what happened was not unexpected — though I didn’t foresee the way it would come about.
I sat here last night and tried to think of the last time it was that I felt honest grief. It was this:
I can’t begin to tell you how waking up to the news of Robin Williams’ suicide took the wind out of my sails. That a man who had given the world so much laughter and moments of respite from the things that plagued us could have been so unhappy and lost himself and we did NOT see it just did me in that day. We, the fans who had been in love with him since Mork and Mindy, failed him.
I couldn’t believe I could feel so affected by the death of someone I didn’t even really know. Obviously very few people knew the man and what he struggled with. Look at that beautiful face… I can’t even begin to imagine the pain it hid. But it was the suddenness of his death (and the manner, if I’m to be honest), the unexpectedness that took the toll on me. It made the grief well up and spill over. Just like with the terrorist attacks from yesterday.
Yes, there is sorrow in the wake of these event, but that original grief that hits me when I hear of things like this somehow depletes who I am inside. Did it deplete me when my folks died? I don’t think so. Part of me knew they had lived a good life together. They had their ups and downs for sure, but death is expected when we age and are ill. Even with the issue with Brandon, it was my own failure that caused such sorrow, but not the shock of grief.
I expect a lot of folks will see this topic differently. But for me, this is the reality. This quote by C.S. Lewis took me quite by surprise because it feels just that way for me. Probably something I need to journal about…