Friday, October 16, 2009


I've been thinking about how I process grief. It's a sneaky emotion, taking a myriad of forms, disguising itself, pretending to be so many other things.

Maybe it's my own doing, you know, expecting to feel a certain way in reaction to difficult things. I expect to feel sad at the death of a relative. Instead, I feel snippy and short-tempered. Stressed at keeping all the details together. Obligated to make sure the dog's needs are met. Pressured to help Cami manage the emotional landscape. Whiney because it feels like there's no room for me to manage myself.

We're in Murfreesboro, Tennessee again. For another funeral. Seems like we were here just last summer.

Oh, wait. We were.

PawPaw's was the first death for the Allens and Dickersons. He lived a full, long life, built a large faith legacy, and left his wife alone for the first time in 65 years. Granny Allen waited another 16 months to go Home and join him.

Fidg's was the second, an unexpected and unfair deal, raw and oozing grief, the kind that makes you nauseated.

Buddy's was our own special heartache, both in the timing and the circumstances. I think because his was the last in the long string of 2008 grief-pearls, I piled all my sadness onto losing him.

Cami did the same, I think, only she's more outward with her expression of the deep grief.

Now it's time to say goodbye to Granny. In this new season of grief, Buddy is still very much part of Cami's grieving process. When I woke up yesterday in the hotel room, I saw faithful Guard Buddy sitting where Cami had placed him before going to bed.

Only Cami keeps hoping "this funeral thing is a false alarm." She and I are in the hotel room, reading, talking, being quiet mostly. She doesn't want to go to the funeral home; she doesn't want to attend the funeral; and she doesn't want to visit the graveside.

"But Mommy?"

"Yes, Cami?"

"Every time we come to Tennessee, we always visit Granny's house. It won't be the same without her, but can we go anyway?"

And so, we'll spend the afternoon and evening with the Allen-Dickerson families at Granny's house. Sharing food, memories, and grief.

1 comment:

betsy caƱas garmon said...

That little band-aid with a drawing of a broken heart says it all... Cami's outside grief is refreshing. (Although it's probably more accurate to say that it's not the grief itself, but the freedom to grieve that is like fresh air blowing...) I have often heard her lamenting in the background of one of our phone conversations and thought, "Yeah, me too Cami-girl. Me too. I want to flop and wail."

And then I look at my journals and realize that, in my own way, with my own language, I do flop and wail. (or pretend, or hope it's not true or shut the blinds.)

Grief is a no small thing. thank your for sharing your walk through the valley so candidly. (Yes, I called Candi candid.)

"Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place." (2 Cor 2:14 NASB)