Surprised by an Expected Grief Ambush

Two things were happening this weekend. I say two things as if life happens in a vacuum but it does not. But two things were happening, First of all, the 22nd was going to be nine months since mom passed away unexpectedly and the 23rd was going mark 25 years since we lost our brother in a car accident. The grief associated with my brother is an old would and usually, I get feel some melancholy and nostalgia. But mom’s grief is fresh, that wound is nowhere near healed and I expected a grief ambush so I tried to prepare for it as much as I possibly could.

I scheduled an appointment with my counselor, I made sure I took all my vitamins, I stayed on track with my guided meditations. I made sure not to isolate so I planned a couple of things with friends. I watched comedies and stayed away from dark movies. As an insomniac, I made sure to follow my bedtime routine to make sure sleep did not become an issue. And yet the last 2-3 days have been horrible. There is no other way to put it, they were just plain horrible.

Usually, I am snobbish to bullet journaling but I will revert to that to list all the things that went wrong:-

  • A job that I thought was a slam dunk fell through just like the other 5 or 10 before it
  • I somehow ended up alone on the 22nd despite my best efforts
  • The damn toilet broke again
  • The memorial notice I had planned for my brother was late
  • I had to cancel a dinner date with friends due to the plumbing issue
  • I went to the wrong theater to watch a play I planned to attend

Well, when I list it that way, it doesn’t seem that much, does it? In fact, I am pretty resilient and yes, in the past, I would have been upset but I could have taken it all in stride. But when you are grieving, things are multiplied and magnified in a way that is unexpected and paralyzing. So here again, I will revert to a bullet journal to show how my expected ambush that I prepared for as well as I could left me feeling:

I was devastated,

I was lonely,

I was intensely sad,

I felt like a loser,

I felt discouraged,

I felt desolate,

I felt alone,

I felt weak,

I felt abandoned,

I was in tears,

I was inconsolable,

I felt lost,

I felt exhausted,

I felt stuck,

I was ..

Actually the list is endless and all tangled up. I found an image from a fellow griever that I follow in Instagram that is sort of a pictograph for what grief is like

I had been trying to be stoic and strong all day and remain productive, get some work done around the house, organize stuff, pay bills and so on and so forth. In the end, I just gave in, grabbed a box of Kleenex, threw myself on the bed and just sobbed my heart out. After I ended up at the wrong theater for the play, I drove to the store and bought a bottle of wine, went back home, poured myself a glass, relocated my Kleenex and just let the grief absorb me.

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