Broken emotional bones?

February 7, 2011

I am broken without you baby

I have been wondering why it is so hard for me to do simple things: schedule a hair cut, meet up with friends, call friends back, do laundry, walk in my door, etc. …

I think it is because I am broken and it is painful to do pretty much anything.  People in deep grief should be compared to someone who has broken every bone in their body, torn every muscle and now has to heal these wounds, learn to use them again (sit, stand, walk, run) and do it all while experiencing great pain.  Would we expect this person to be able to walk normally at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, 2 years?  How long does it take to gain back basic functioning?

I feel like those around us would find it easier to understand the physical version. They would recognize the pain and that you are severely damaged and healing will take years and that you will never quite move the same. Their expectations would be different, more realistic I think.

As it is, I think it is hard for them, and me, to understand to the depths that my heart and soul have been damaged and how much I have to learn about the new me, the new life, the new world I am in.  That I can’t be expected to run a marathon (emotional equivalent: go to a friend’s wedding?, be a superstar at work?, not be continually overwhelmed by life?) or even walk a mile.  The fact that I am standing and I dressed myself should be considered a miracle.  That I have moments where I can laugh and enjoy my family and try to focus on how much Chris and I loved each other should be considered extraordinary.

I crave an external sign of my pain so that others can see my wounds and I don’t have to find a way to struggle to communicate to those who aren’t also broken by grief.

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2 Responses to “Broken emotional bones?”

  1. megan Says:

    Yeah – I keep thinking that too, and especially in the first many months – if I were in a massive wreck and these wounds were all physical, NO ONE would be sniffing that I should be better now, or saying such useless little platitudes. If I’d lost both legs and an arm, no one would be telling me to be glad I had them for as long as I did, and that they are still with me, I just can’t see them – as though that makes it alright. Severe physical damage, people would understand a long long recovery to even gain small things back. Emotional soul wrenching damage, you’re just supposed to be alright.

  2. Mandy Says:

    Just catching up after a hiatus from my fellow grievers, M. God, I can so relate to this feeling. I’ve written on my blog several times that the Victorian age folks really had the right idea with people wearing mourning for a year or more after a significant death. All the time I find myself just wanting to wear a sign that says, “My child died. My life will never be the same. I will never get over it. I will be OK, but just know that about me.” Wish you had something similar.


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