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The state of the Z [Oct. 10th, 2014|10:59 am]
I have been all but silent on social media of late. Here, that's not news, as my journal has languished for some time now. But my Facebook updates have dropped to a small fraction of what they were, and my participation on SparkPeople has almost ceased.

Socially, I'm rolling up like a pill bug. I will tell you that I don't like it, but my actions belie my words.

Grief is a strange and difficult path to walk.

Before now, I believed myself to have a pretty good handle on the whole death thing. My views on the soul and the afterlife are very solid and established, so concern about the fate of the dearly departed has not been a concern since I was a child. I was sad when my dad died, and there was a lot of shock because it was so sudden and unexpected. But I was functional and pretty much back to normal within a month. When Ferrett's stepdad, Bruce, died it hit me quite hard. But by the time we got back from California I was able to go back to my daily routines pretty well. I had regular moments of being very sad, but they passed with a few tears. Very little about those deaths or the earlier deaths of much-loved grandparents consistently impacted my daily life.

Rebecca's death has been a completely different experience. We are four months away from that terrible day, and I still feel like gravity has been increased four-fold, like a weight is continually pushing down on my chest. I'll be driving in my car and tears will overflow from my eyes. Amy and I watched Tangled last night, and the scene of the king and queen working up their courage to face another hopeless lantern release reduced me to sobs--yes, I knew that their story would have a happy ending, but at that moment all they had was years of grief. Lilo and Stitch completely ruined Ferrett and me both for the next entire day after we'd watched it.

I'm kind of impatient and angry with myself that my grief is this deep. I don't feel like I have a right to it. Though Ferrett and I are the designated guardians for the Meyer children, should something happen to Kat and Eric, we are *not* the parents. We weren't there with the children every day like their parents were. We weren't there several days a week like the nannies were. We weren't even there weekly for the couple years before Rebecca got sick. Sometimes a whole month would go by that we didn't see her. I feel like I'm intruding on grief that I haven't earned. Like I'm a phony. Sometimes I worry that my grief is somehow damaging to Kat and Eric, that I'm hurting them in some way.

And yet this weight is on my chest, these tears fall. The stern talkings-to that I give myself have no effect.

[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2014-10-10 03:16 pm (UTC)
YOu will get over it when you get over it. No sooner and no later.

My brother has been dead for 21 years. He died just before his 41st birthday. The details do not matter here, but his body was worn out and he had AIDS. So, yeah, he was older than R. and had at least lived some of his life. But he was my brother, the next child after me. I still miss him. I've never been able to watch the movie "Philadelphia". There is a hole in my heart. Right now I am fighting tears, and it's 21 years later.

So. Just let it go. Keep feeling it (like you can help yourself). You have your grief, her parents have theirs. You are all allowed to handle it exactly the way you can handle it. Honestly.

Some day you will realize that you hurt a little less. And some day after that you will realize you hurt even less. And some day after that, something funny and sweet that Rebecca did will make you smile - with tears in your eyes. And some day after that, it will make you smile.

Until than, don't try to stop it. Because, really, you can't.

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[User Picture]From: aiela
2014-10-10 03:33 pm (UTC)
I don't know your whole history, but I do know that most people have more "experience" in dealing with the death of adults than they do the death of children. And I do think they are different feelings - there's always the feeling of "what more life could that person have had", but its way more for children, and more heartbreaking, especially when they are children you love as your own.

Brit lost her friend Alec to cancer in January, and she has a small jar on her bookshelf. When something happens that she wishes she could tell Alec about, or when she's just remembering something about him, she writes it on paper and puts it in the jar. It helps her, but it's still been a very difficult year for her. I hope that time will make your pain more bearable, and know that you are loved.
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[User Picture]From: ba1126
2014-10-10 03:53 pm (UTC)
In my opinion, the amount of grief is related to the 'investment' of love and caring. You are 'entitled' to ALL your feelings. I also believe the death of children is particularly wrenching. Allow yourself to feel whatever way you feel. I hope time will ease the pain.
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[User Picture]From: dragonsflame71
2014-10-10 05:04 pm (UTC)
Grief has no time-table. And it sneaks up on you like a thief. Don't push it aside. Feel it, acknowledge, & then keep pushing on. My best friend died nearly 4 years ago from breast cancer & there are days that are more painful than I can even bear and then there are days when I can finally smile again at a memory. Hang in there. It never gets better, but it will get easier
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[User Picture]From: brujah
2014-10-10 05:15 pm (UTC)
There is no right or wrong way to grieve. How you feel isn't measured against a set of standards and regardless of how often you spent time with Rebecca, you loved her. Love is a powerful, giant thing. I wish I could say something that would give you a solution, an insight, an ounce of relief, but I know that there's no real comfort in grief. Grief is a personal Hell. Time is supposed to be the great balm to give us distance between raw, agonizing pain and a soft longing. Being sad is natural, being withdrawn is also natural, but I suspect that you might want to consider counselling to give you a tool set to get by.

Much love to you and yours as always.
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[User Picture]From: bunny42
2014-10-10 05:37 pm (UTC)
In no way do I intend to downplay the hurt and misery this is causing you. Consider the possibility that you can get help. I went through the motions for nearly a year after my late husband died, before my best friend observed that I should talk to my doctor. Nothing I could do or say would lessen the time I needed to regain my balance. But I found that there is chemical assistance to help you through the darkness. There is no shame in using whatever is available to us to lessen the pain. Mine was called Zoloft, and I used it for a bit more than a year. Then I didn't need it anymore. It didn't mean I missed him any less, or that my grief was somehow ameliorated. It just made it easier to stand, to function day-to-day. My friend had said I wasn't out of control, exactly, just not really IN control. She was correct. The Zoloft helped me regain that control. It wasn't weakness, resorting to chemistry. Rather, it was asking for help and receiving it. I don't know if it works for everyone, but it was profoundly helpful to me, so much so that I feel comfortable recommending that you at least speak to your doctor.
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[User Picture]From: meyerweb.com
2014-10-10 06:05 pm (UTC)
It’s very possible that the depth of your grief and the slowness of its easing are precisely because you weren’t there every day, which makes the times you had with Rebecca that much more precious and the times away from her hurt that much more.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2014-10-10 07:36 pm (UTC)
I think there is definitely some of that, Eric. I have many precious memories of her, but not nearly enough.
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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2014-10-10 07:38 pm (UTC)
no. your grief IS. a person cannot quantify their emotions by "but this other person...", your heart in your chest is the one that hurts. THAT is all that matters in this case, hon. seriously.

rebecca was a shining little star who burnt out FAR too soon, and that is a reason for grief. it's going to hit HARD at times. the victorians mourned for a full year, and that's right, queen victoria mourned her albert the rest of her life. she withdrew from court for years, she mourned him for 41 years.

grief IS. as long as you're functioning on the basic levels, you're doing it right. and you are, you're doing *some* things while your heart still aches. that's good. crying is good, too; wearying, but good.

even once you're doing good again? grief will pop up and grab you by the heart again, unexpectedly. and that's normal too.

*hugs and hugs* from someone 8 years into mourning the Mate. yes, i love again, but...he's still there in my heart.
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2014-10-10 08:04 pm (UTC)
A couple of years back, someone I went to kindergarten and elementary school with died of a heart attack, and it hit me weirdly hard. I hadn't even heard from him in decades, and we weren't that close in school. So I didn't feel like I had any right to my grief, but it was there, anyway.

I've shed a lot of tears over Rebecca, and I never met her.

It would be so nice if emotions were nice, reasonable, and well-behaved, but they're not.

What happened to Rebecca was just world-warpingly wrong. It shouldn't have happened. She had everything going for her -- love, educated parents, more love, a successful surgery, some of the most advanced medical treatments known to humanity, her age, her feistiness, and much more. It shouldn't have happened, no way, no how. And it did.

There's a lot of anger involved in that, as well as the grief of losing her. It's hard to believe in a good world when something so very bad happens. It shakes almost every belief, and I don't just mean the religious kinds. How can one believe the sun will rise, when something so inconceivably wrong can happen?

Recovering from something that can shake one's core so completely requires more than a couple of months and some stern talkings-to. You probably need those tears. That self-protection. That cocooning. A healthy dose of irrationality. And a lot of love, and patience, and time, and probably some other stuff, too. (My number-one cure-all for all your ills is a trip to Germany, but you know that!)

Love you. Wishing you all the best.
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[User Picture]From: tdanaher
2014-10-10 09:22 pm (UTC)
I hope I'm not connecting dots that have no business being connected, but Rebecca's illness and loss were so very close in time to Ferrett's illness and almost-loss. Maybe, like referred pain when the body hurts in one area but the source is another, you grieve not only for Rebecca but for how close you came to grieving for Ferrett?
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[User Picture]From: ckd
2014-10-10 09:35 pm (UTC)
Grief is what it is. Yours is no less valid and important for being "*not* the parents". *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: dr_phil_physics
2014-10-11 01:34 am (UTC)
There is no way you're a phony. It would be fake if you were trying to get something out of it. But grief is when there's nothing for you. So... it's all right and human... And it's okay to let people know you're hurting. You don't have to be on anyone's timetable -- there isn't one.

Take care.

Dr. Phil
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[User Picture]From: wilhelmina_d
2014-10-11 02:10 am (UTC)
You loved her, you miss her, so you grieve for her. *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: regalpewter
2014-10-11 03:57 am (UTC)

We greive. We are humans who must face an eventual end of us all. Recently. we went through getting ready to accept that I may be facing an end of life outcome with my medical situation. Instead we were handed a possibility that it need not be so. I got lucky, and was told 'not yet.'
Sadly, those words never came for her. I am so sorry.
You need to work out what you are feeling. We can only pray that somehow you find comfort. If you can take time to speak with a professional. We easily seek help when the ailment is physical, we have to be convinced when it's something else. find a professional to aid you through this process and I hope you can be well.

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[User Picture]From: cyan_blue
2014-10-12 04:10 pm (UTC)
I can't speak for them of course, but I would imagine that Kat and Eric would find validation in your grief - yes our child was that precious. Yes others saw it, not just us. Yes she touched this many lives this deeply.
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2014-10-13 08:57 pm (UTC)
That was me who posted about Angela. Wasn't logged in. Sorry.
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[User Picture]From: kagomeshuko
2014-10-15 12:51 am (UTC)
The truth is that you never truly stop grieving. You just learn to live with the hurt. I know this all too well from all the losses in my life. I had a huger comment, but my little puppy, Butterbean hit something that made my browser go to some other page.

You need to grieve in your own time and then you can feel normal once again, but there will still be times that make you cry.
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[User Picture]From: spreadsothin
2014-10-17 03:48 am (UTC)
My favorite aunt died three years ago. There were hours I couldn't do anything but cry. There are still days when I cry. I wanted to name my daughter after her, but I wanted my daughter to have a name I could say without a lump in my throat. I gave my daughter my aunt's middle name.

You are allowed all of your grief.
You are allowed to do whatever kind things you need to do.
And you have wonderful people surrounding you.
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