Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Staying Power of Grief

I attended a funeral this week. I grieved for a friend and her family and for the loved one they had lost.
I also experienced, or perhaps I should say re-experienced, some of my own grief. Grief has a long memory and has many triggers.
Certainly funerals are primary ones. The same rituals and, perhaps, even some of the same words and songs. I remember more than one instance of having difficulty going to the first funerals after the death of family members. One time,  I let go of the steering wheel and went to open the door to get out of the car and my hands were shaking.  My emotions were still that raw.
You don't have to have had a recent loss to have a "grief flashback." There are a couple of songs that were out when a friend of mine died of cancer. She died more than 20 years ago, but when I hear those songs I still have a reaction and may still be brought to tears.
I try to remember that these  instances are just another part of grieving and feel the feelings that are brought up, even when I am really caught off guard!
Just Beneath the Surface

Grief hides in
the jungle of our emotions
ready to stage a sneak attack.
A picture, a song,
a place, a date
may trigger an ambush
no matter how much time
has passed since
the loss occurred.
This opponent will never
sustain a mortal wound,
but its target may learn
how to recover more
quickly after a strike.
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