To Grieve or To Mourn

migraineWith the sudden passing of one of the best friends two years ago, I have come to find that there is no right or wrong way to grieve or mourn. There is no appropriate set amount of time. There is no reason to tell anyone or to not tell everyone. How ever someone decides to cope with the sense of loss within their lives is entirely up to the individual. The thought of another anniversary of that day has brought these thoughts to the forefront of my mind because even two years later, I still grieve and mourn for the loss of my friend.

While in the throes of my mourning, I started to contemplate what grieving versus mourning really meant. Obviously, loss, sadness, emotional and mental suffering with possible physical pain, but I started to think of their actual definition and wondered if there was a significant difference in the two. What do you know? There is.

Dictionary.com says, “Grieve is the stronger word, implying deep mental suffering often endured alone and in silence but revealed by one’s aspect: to grieve over the loss (or death) of a friend. Mourn usually refers to manifesting sorrow outwardly, either with or without sincerity: to mourn publicly and wear black.”

So, I did what made sense to me. I categorized myself into a group based on the way I deal with the loss of my friend. I believe there are three types of people when it comes to feelings of loss. These types are points on a line spectrum, so there are those who may lean a little from the main point, but I’m sure most can find themselves closer to one point than another.

Boisterous Wailers

These are people who weep loudly for all to hear. They don’t care who is around, or where they are. When the mood strikes them, they will belt out their frustration with whatever sorrow has found them and force whoever or whatever is around them to feel and look the same. They throw things. They scream and curse everyone. These are the types of people who refuse to go through their pain alone, so the world will hear them during their pain.

Silent Sufferers

We all know these types of people. They are the kind who refuse to let anyone in during a time of loss. They push everyone away and insist they are dealing with their suffering when in reality, it weighs on them every moment of every day as they make their way silently through their new world of loss. You may never see these people act out, let alone discuss it. They see the world as full of pain, so why would anyone want to hear about theirs.

Hybrid Comfort Finders

I like to think I have developed a sense of the middle ground between the two aforementioned types of individuals. There are days where I just try to make it through, and there are days where I need help. There are days where I hope the neighbors don’t come to check on me and days where I can smile regardless of my heart breaking. All the days in between, the ones where I don’t believe I lean from this center ground, I find comfort in the beauty of my life. I hug my husband and daughter a little tighter. I eat an extra piece of chocolate, or watch a favorite movie. I find the things that make me happy, and for those few moments, the pain isn’t so heavy, and the world isn’t as dark.

Grieving, mourning; it’s all the same sense of loss. It’s how you make it through the day that matters.

Saying goodbye to the past

When my life rocked sideways during a time of loss, a friend I once considered a sister came to stay with me. photo-1461720486092-b6ee3f33d726She was only with me for twenty-four hours before we went our separate ways, but by the end of that time, something beautifully ashen transpired. We could feel it the moment she walked back into my life, but it wasn’t palpable until the end.

It was in the goodbye.

When I hugged her goodbye, it felt like I was letting go party of my childhood. I felt the angst of my teenage years, the pain and awkwardness as I passed through so many milestones. There was wonder and excitement at finding myself, testing my personality and finding that self actualization. It was all there within our embrace. A tangible energy I could feel gathering between us began to slowly fade away. Like I was releasing a part of me that I had outgrown and moved beyond. Not because it was immature or some underdeveloped piece of me. It was as if this piece of myself allowed me to become the person I am today, completed its mission, and was ready to be released.

The seconds it took to release the hold around her tiny frame were the most drawn out moments in my life. Everything that had once built me up disapated as her arms unwound around me. All of the years I had spent trying to find the person I wanted to be evaporated like a summer rain from the forefront of my mind, finding their place within my mind’s archive. I could feel it slipping from me, all that time spent angry and confused, fumbling and jubilated as I made my way through the day to day.

It wasn’t being thrown away or stuffed into the attic, never to be thought of again. No, it became the diploma hanging on the wall, or the photos you frame to never forget a memory. It became a dormant piece to my life puzzle, the outer frame of my past, but no longer what constituted my center, present day me. It became the footprints in the sand behind me, the path that led me here, but no longer the dominant pieces of me.

As she looked at me, possibly for the very last time, I could see it in her eyes, too. She felt it. The pillars in our lives shifting. We smiled and said one last goodbye. She looked over her shoulder at me, and for the first time in my life, I felt renewed. I had finally released my past and became the full realized person I had fought so hard to be.

She helped me get to this point. I will always love her for that. I will never forget or regret my past. It was the only way to get to where I am today. I look upon it now, hanging on the wall in my mind’s gallery of memories and smile, thankful for it all and overwhelmed by the journey.

I’m not who I was. I’ve grown and become someone I had always hoped I would be. I have a longer road ahead of me to become even more, but to the road I have left behind, its been a beautiful ride.

Migraines!

migraineOne of the worst feelings in the world is being out of control of your own body. This can come in many different forms whether self-inflicted such as drugs and alcohol or our own bodies rebelling against us in the shape of migraines and worse medical conditions.

My current affliction, as my doctor calls it, are cluster migraines. I’ve had them for a few years, before I was pregnant even, and this last one was the worst. It started out as the corner of my right eye twitching for a few days in a way I have never felt before. On Sunday, it all came to a (more specifically, my) head.

I woke up and started to get ready for my day when I noticed a shimmering in the corner of my right eye. That is always a dead giveaway for me. I took two ibuprofen and headed out the door for my daughter’s swim lesson. On the way there, my husband drove as my vision was completely clouded in my right peripheral, and I struggled with my words. By the time her lesson was over and we were on our way home, my head was throbbing, I felt nauseous, and I just wanted to hide in a dark room.

I ended up sleeping the day away. Bless my husband for being Super Dad. I woke up late afternoon, ate some dinner, and folded laundry with a dull throb and continued sensitivity to light and noise. Fast forward to Monday morning, and the migraine hangover is still there. Calmer, but still present.

My doctor once prescribed me medicine for my migraines, but it didn’t seem to affect anything other than my pocket more than the over the counter headache medicine does. It’s a surreal feeling when you realize your body needs assistance. It serves as a reminder that these shells that carry our souls are temporary, malleable, and painstakingly mortal.

Sometimes, people just don’t like you.

Throughout my life, I have always tried hoped that people would like me. I would even say there were times I went out of my way to try and get people to like me. With age, though, I am finding that this way of thinking is tiresome. To try so hard to be the person people want you to be just so you can be on their radar for whatever amount of time your actions towards them permits is truly juvenile and almost sadistic.somtimes

Never will I be the exact person anyone wants me to be, nor will I ever again try to be that person. Being happy with myself is where it begins, and whether someone else likes it, I am who I am. I realized this, instilled it within myself, and began introducing the world to who I am. Those who have stuck by my side know the real me.

Most recently, I tried very hard with a co-worker who, in the end, very clearly wanted nothing to do with me. I offered her my support, tried to provide assistance and insight both professionally and in our personal lives, but the more I tried, the more she resisted. It ended in a way that we no longer communicate unless necessary which seems to work well for us, but this experience really taught me a lesson.

All I can do is try, but sometimes, people won’t like me, and that’s OK because I now know I showed them the kind of person I am.

Insomnia

I am finding myself more and more tired. It is taking a larger effort to get out of bed in the morning. I toss and turn no matter how long or little I have been sleeping. No matter how much time I sleep, it never seems enough. My mind races with the most random thoughts, none are coherent. I wake up looking like the walking dead.

Maybe it’s the time of year, less sunlight, more cold and dark. Maybe its my caffeine intake which I am eliminating starting today even though I have only been drinking one or two cups of coffee a day. Maybe its my sugar intake except I really haven’t eaten much of it recently, more simple carbs than chocolate. May need to cut back on bread/pasta, too. Exercise definitely needs to happen as there is slim to none in my life right now. Maybe that would make me good and tired.

All this being said, I really can’t pinpoint what is weighing on my heart and mind so heavily that sleep has become as elusive as the quest to find El Dorado. My foggy brain is hardly producing meaningful words let alone sentences.

The ultimate cure would be a lifelong vacation at the beach, but lady luck has yet to pull through with a winning lottery ticket thus far. I can only (hope to) dream.

SNHU Graduate!

I did it! I finally finished my Bachelor degree!

Right after high school, I went back to school and got my Associate’s Degree of Science in General Studies. I figured since I had no idea what I wanted to do with my working life, I could at least knock out all of the prerequisites I would one day have to take in order to complete a degree at a later time. My local community college provided all of the courses I needed at a fractional cost of a traditional university, so I felt assured in my decision to obtain my two-year degree with the hopes of maybe finding what I wanted to do with my career along the way.

While that didn’t happen right away, I did find an organization that allowed me to experience many different areas of a business, providing me with insight to the possibilities of where I could succeed within the company. After a few years and several life changes such as buying my first home and getting married, my wonderful husband decided he wanted to go back to school. Well, regardless of my apprehension to start school back up again, he signed me up to speak to a recruiter who a few days later enrolled me at Southern New Hampshire University. I can honestly say I am so happy with my choice of school and my entire online college experience. We’ll see how long it takes for them to send me my diploma!snhu

A lot of hard work and determination, and sheer manipulation of the scarce free-time I had later, I made my way through my final sixty credits with a 3.97 GPA. (Two stupid -A’s!) It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in the midst of life and work, but now that I am just waiting on my diploma to arrive in the mail, I feel satisfied with my accomplishment.

But now what to do with all of my free time?

Let me just say, laundry has never been done so quickly!

Graduation, Here I Come!

snhuI know I have been talking about it quite frequently, but I have to give an update on my schoolwork. I have less than two terms before graduation! My second to last term has already started which I am taking two courses then I have one class in my last term, and then this lady will have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration!

I have worked my butt off the past almost two years, and I cannot wait to close this chapter of my life. I will have accomplished something that I honestly wasn’t sure I would ever have started again. When I finished my Associate’s Degree, I honestly thought I was done with school, but here I am, three months away from earning my Bachelor’s!

And although I love writing these posts and need them for my down time, I have homework to do! Good day!