Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Loneliness of Grief

Girl or boy? Well they both have beards so they are probably male turkeys. In the winter, they form single sex flocks. I did not know turkeys had beards. It looked like horse hair hanging from their chests. Also they are bigger than females and have this fleshy stuff on their heads that can blow up and turn blue or red depending on their mood.

The other night, we watched The Rabbit Hole (compliments of TB, thank-you!). Excellent acting and interesting take on how to deal with crushing grief. The main character (Nicole Kidman) loses her 4 year old son in an accident. Outwardly, she does not seem affected but she can not move forward. Her mother had lost her 30 year old son to a drug overdose and tries to give her unwelcome advice. She equates their losses but no, losing a 4 year old in an accident does not equal losing a drug addict. She and her husband attend a support group for parents of dead children. Many of the grieving parents turn to religion (God wanted a little angel!)which the Nicole character finds revolting. Why would a benevolent God allow an innocent child to die? As her husband had suffered the same loss, their griefs should be similar but they handle the loss in such different ways, that it threatens their once strong marriage. A teenage boy had run the little boy over when the boy suddenly darted in front of him. He struggles with guilt although no one, even the parents, blame him. He finds a way to handle his grief that Nicole finds strangely comforting.

No ones sadnesses are ever equal. Grief can be so isolating. When I had a miscarriage many years ago, I was very sad. It was not helpful to be told that my loss was small. (Good thing it was too young for you to get attached). I knew someone else who had a miscarriage and called her to see how she got through it. Of course our losses were not equal (She had an ectopic pregnancy, life-threatening, and was infertile afterwards. She could have pointed out that she suffered much more than I but I am grateful that she did not).
Steve suffered the same loss too but his strategy seemed to be for me to get pregnant again, which scared me as I didn't think I could bear another loss. I did go to a support group, once, and by comparison, my loss seemed so much smaller than what the others had experienced, it just made me sadder.

A similar situation arises in these cancer support groups especially when Stage 1 and Stage 4 people are mixed. The Stage 4 people could be thinking how lucky the Stage 1 people are. The Stage 1 people are terrified at becoming Stage 4 people.

My house guest is back in California. It was fun having her here and catching up on old times and how we are dealing with our various challenges. Another friend who had lived with us stopped by too.

It was warm enough to run outside yesterday but this morning, it had all turned to ice so back to the gym.
Later today, I will finally get to hear the researcher speak who has researched the Ghanaian connection to TNBC although that won't be the focus of her talk.

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