Grieving is to feel or show grief over. Grief is deep mental anguish, as that arising from bereavement.
One would assume that I spent this past year grieving the death of my father and two uncles and while I wish this were true, it is not. There are five stages of grief, which are denial/isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
I have gone through two of these emotions, depression and acceptance, or what I would call resignation. I spent several months in a fog walking around on auto-pilot before seeking help for clinical depression. I have resigned myself to the fact that their time here on Earth has ended and that they are all in a better place. I am grateful that suffering is over but the tears have not come. The anger is absent. I am not in denial about their deaths but I remain emotionless, numb, resigned. Death is a constant. Something we will all experience but grieving is just as normal as death and I cannot seem to get myself to go there.
I miss my Dad and uncles very much but I do not think of them often. It is as if I have blotted them out of my mind. I see their pictures but I am not really “seeing” them for whom they were and what role they played in my life. They are like characters from a magazine or TV show. My memories are blocked. I refuse to go there unless there is a group of us talking about them and then it is all good, no sadness, just laughter and good times. While this is OK it is not enough. The knot is still there. The holes are still there and the feelings that were quick to rise up at the time of each death acknowledged.
Unfortunately, for me the defense mechanism of strength (i.e. being strong - crying is a sign of weakness) kicks in and overrides my senses and the moment passes not recognized for what it really is until something else triggers it. I do not want to experience another loss to grieve the loss of these three people as it will take away from the one who should really be grieved but I have to find a way to allow the squashed feelings to rise to the surface and released. I have to face these deaths from a personal perspective not a clinical approach. I am not on the outside looking in. These three people meant a great deal to me. They helped to mold me as I was growing up, now they are gone, and with them, a piece of me went too.
I want to cry, to release the pent up emotions but I cannot. It will not happen at least not right now. The one year anniversary for all of them have come and gone and still nothing, although I feel it lying just beneath the surface. Counseling has helped me to acknowledge it but so far nothing has helped me release it. One day I hope to be able to feel that this is all over for me and I will think of them and our times together often and fondly. In the meantime, I am waiting for the moment or moments when the wall comes down, the lid comes off and the emotions will come spilling out and I can move forward.