A Grief Observed…

I wrote my little blog, well one of them, on grief in October, 2013.  I had never read this book by C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed, or any excerpts from it…but I stumbled upon it today.  I was surfing the web exploring all my phases and symptoms of grief this time around.  We are dealing with a whole different monster this time and making myself aware and educated is one way that I cope.

I read a few pages from A Grief Observed and lo and behold, I came across the following entry.  I clearly am not a skilled writer as C.S. is…and his writing is far more poignant than my thoughts merely typed out into the blank page of a blog.  However, broken down, I was pleased to read that we shared the same analogy on grief and losing a loved one…it’s kinda like losing a limb. C.S. will never be a biped again.  I am not a fan of being a double amputee, but I feel I will figure it out…eventually.

“Getting over it so soon? But the words are ambiguous. To say the patient is getting over it after an operation for appendicitis is one thing; after he’s had his leg off is quite another. After that operation either the wounded stump heals or the man dies. If it heals, the fierce, continuous pain will stop. Presently he’ll get back his strength and be able to stump about on his wooden leg. He has ‘got over it.’ But he will probably have recurrent pains in the stump all his life, and perhaps pretty bad ones; and he will always be a one-legged man. There will be hardly any moment when he forgets it. Bathing, dressing, sitting down and getting up again, even lying in bed, will all be different. His whole way of life will be changed. All sorts of pleasures and activities that he once took for granted will have to be simply written off. Duties too. At present I am learning to get about on crutches. Perhaps I shall presently be given a wooden leg. But I shall never be a biped again.”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed


“Give Sorrow Words”

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.” ~ Shakespeare

This insightful quote…and the encouragement of my kids…leaves me opening up a blank page and continue writing.  Keeping grief locked up keeps the pain locked up.  I’ll give my sorrow words…

Three years ago, I came to learn about real grief for the first time in my life.  I had lost numerous people…but when it is someone so close…someone you let into your heart…it’s far different.  This first experience was with my son’s father.  I guess it’s probably the same feeling as when you lose a best friend, parent, sibling, or even worse…God forbid a child.  I guess I was lucky making it 41 years escaping that pain.

So, this time around, losing Matt a week ago, it doesn’t hurt any less.  However, this time around I have some hope that I won’t always be stuck where I am.  That feeling where I just want it to be bed time so I can sleep (well, lie there and try and sleep), having that walking around in a fog type of feeling, just plain being non-functional.  Like not remembering how to even tie your shoes type of non-functional.

This time, I am able to see the milestones and know that I am headed in the right direction.  Today, for instance, I made my cup of coffee this morning and came to the computer rather than back to bed.  Baby steps.  I clicked on the website for the grocery store circular armed with paper and pen.   The goal was  to make a list and plan dinners judging on the sales and get myself out to the store…eventually. I clicked on the site.  I haven’t looked at it and the paper and pen sit in front of me untouched.  But it’s still baby steps.

Right now, I am going to put on my Pandora music stations and attempt to get some cleaning done.  Then get back to my grocery list.  I don’t know how far I will get, but getting the music on and out of this chair (and avoiding my bed) will be steps in the right direction.  Moving forward…

Moving Forward…

This is my first post in momdotcalm in forever, it seems.  My cancerdotcalm blog came to a devastating end…not how we thought and hoped it would….with Mathew passing away a few short days ago. My last post in the blog was a bit controversial…and if I said I didn’t have second thoughts or some regrets about posting it, I’d be lying.

My love, Matthew Garth Mitchell, passed away after being in the ring with Leukemia for a bit over a year. He handled it amazing and kept on swinging right up until the end.  I am so proud of him and that I got to become so connected and fall madly in love with him over this past year. I thought he was my happily ever after…in turn, I guess I was his.   I was looking back though text messages and facebook messages and I am reminded of how we came to be and how in love we were.

“Never had these feelings like this before. I’m excited. I love seeing you. Love talking with you. Laughing with you. This is awesome.”

That is my favorite message from him from last Fall.  I have a few that I saved to my computer for safe keeping.  I am holding them close right now, along with the gazillion photos, and they are bringing me comfort.


Now, about my last post on cancerdotcalm.  It was a tool…as my art is…to get me through whatever is going on in my life.  Despite the second thoughts and some regrets…I shouldn’t have apologized when posting.  I used a blog, my blog, not my social media page.  The text was not going to show up on anyone’s news feed, the link was.  Click or don’t.  Read or move on.  That being said…I did not expect the overwhelming views and responses that I got (Although I am thankful for the support).  I wasn’t publishing my post to become some sort of witch hunt or needing all the hundreds of responses and messages to validate how I feel.  I own my feelings, I know why I feel the way I did and I believe I am justified for being upset when feeling unimportant and left behind in my time of grief.  I did not write my blog to hurt any part of a grieving family, just as I don’t think the decisions made at the end were intentionally made to hurt me.  I wrote my blog because I was hurting, and this is what I do.  Matt fell in love with this girl who blogs…he took the time to read all of them.  He knows this is how I cope and this is how I celebrate.  He agreed to the blog about him and made me feel comfortable enough with my feelings and my writing that no matter what I felt, own it, write about it if I wanted…and move on.

We cannot change the past, only how we view it. “Moving forward” is a term I use more than anything these days. So, I am taking my own advice and moving forward.  Tomorrow is the funeral.  When I look around I am confident I will not see who did what, who made what decision, who is fighting for what.  I am certain I will see a Mom and Dad with their spouses grieving for their too-young-to-be-gone son.  I will see two little boys trying to comprehend where heaven is and feeling their Dad’s void terribly.  I will see a daughter who is trying to figure out how to go on without her rock.  I will see the Moms of his kids with their heart breaking from losing a solid friend along with feeling the pain of their own children’s grief.  I will see a brother and sister-in-law not only losing a brother, but a friend.  I will see their three boys losing their Uncle Matt.  I will look at my own children and know that they are not only losing a great buddy they acquired over this past year…they are also trying to clear the dust that this loss is kicking up with their own father figure passing away almost exactly three years ago.  And I am sure I will see countless friends and family trying to grasp how this cancer thing happened to such an amazing person. So many people love him.

And then we will walk away from that grave…and move forward.  Matt would not want us stuck there in the grief we will feel at his graveside.  He will want us to move forward.

And then I will get home and I will look in the mirror at myself.  I hopefully will see a girl who’s ready to pick up the pieces…and get moving forward and figure out this happily ever after thing on my own.