Sunday, March 25, 2007

Reign Over Me

Saw a movie yesterday. Reign Over Me with Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler. There is much to recommend it, but the piece that stood out for me the most is the feeling I was left with - that grieving has a life of it’s own. It really does have to happen in your own way and your own pace. There is no simple or cookie cutter way to do it. It might require rage or tears, or not. Denial can be a friend. Self-medication might be what gets us through the short run (but I don’t recommend it for the long term). Whatever is true for you is all that is important. And from the outside in, there really is no point in imposing the way we grieve onto someone else. Just no point, because how can we know what works for other people, or what will heal them. And isn’t that the point of grieving, to heal and move on with our lives (which is not the same as forgetting the thing or person we are grieving).

For me, when I was recovering from cancer, the grieving was probably the most profound part of the experience (and there is lots profound about having cancer), when I had to make peace with what had happened. And the grieving couldn’t happen during the treatment, I was way too busy with fighting for my life to deal with my life or my feelings about my life. So then, when all the doctors dropped away, and there were no more appointments to keep me busy, and everyone got a well deserved rest from “taking care of me”, and there was just time and space. And an awful lot of time and space, emphasis on the awful. That is when the grieving started, and the healing. That is when I cried for hours, which turned into days, and finally weeks. That is where I had to surrender and see what feelings surfaced in what moments. That is where I let my body call the shots and tell me what needed doing next. That is where I regained myself again. My real self, my buried self, my sacred self. In that moment it felt like the sun had broke through the clouds (kind of like this Vancouver day), and I could breath again. Just a little at first. Like sipping on a straw. But eventually I could take in great big gulps of life-giving oxygen. And I was ready to start thinking about living again.


At 9:48 AM PDT, Blogger Darran Frisby said...

Glad to see you back blogging Signy....

All the very best!


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