Monday, August 22, 2011

Good Grief – I Hit a Couple of Stages This Weekend Alone (I’m an over-achiever – ha!)

      God's timing is perfect. At the beginning of August, I took 2 seminary classes – lay counseling and support groups. Both in some way or the other covered grief. My project for the support group class is to write a paper on establishing a grief support group. This was chosen before we knew the full extent of Gynelle's (Patrick's mom) condition and how it would play out.
    There are different stages of grief. (Although I find the word "stages" to be a bit of a misnomer in my simple thinking.) In the stages of grief, there is no particular order. You don't have to complete 1 stage to get to the next. Just because you deal with 1 stage of grief doesn't mean you won't revisit it either. I think it should be called "Status of Grief." What is your status? I'm angry. I'm in denial. I'm trying to bargain. I'm in acceptance. I'm depressed. Whatever your status is in grief.

This weekend I covered two – anger and denial. I'm an over-achiever.
     I think the denial gave way after being in Gynelle's house overnight and the next day. It was weird to be in her home without her. Gynelle was always present, always active, always engaging. She would take the grandkids for rides on the four wheeler, go to the park, take them to the Dollar General for a toy, or go to the family life center to play. She was cooking with them, playing with them, talking to them, or swinging with them. It was just an odd feeling being in her home without her energy, without her presence. I guess that's when it hit me that we would never have that again. It made me sad.     Then I went into the status of angry when a certain family member tried to claim things in the house as their own. It was all I could do to bite my tongue and keep my hands to myself. I think I have hole in my tongue big enough for a piercing! This person graded on my last nerve. The voice caused every muscle in my body to tense. Had it been my momma's house, I would have grabbed this person by the collar and the waist-band and shown them the door. But it wasn't my momma's house, and I don't want to cause any more stress for my husband than he already has, since he is the only one handling it along with Bob (her husband). If I think too long or too hard about some of the c-rap that has gone on by some of the parties involved, my blood boils. In case you can't tell, I'm refraining and containing myself A LOT right now!

     My ultimate goal in this grieving process is to support my husband, work through my own grief, but to also help my children to understand what is going on and how to grieve their own ways. I covet your prayers in this regard.     I'm sure I'll visit the anger status again before it's all said and done. I briefly visited it on the front end of this journey, but quickly, realized I was angry for selfish reasons.
     The Bible says that in our anger we are not to sin. God gave us a full range of emotions to use. Anger is one of them. How do we handle our anger and not sin? I don't know. The fact that I refrained from snatching that person bald was that refraining from sin or was the thought of it alone a sin? I'm learning as I go.

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