The Cycle of Grief

The cycle of grief is what I will call, hmmm let’s say, “interesting.” Martin and I were talking about it today. He was going through another cycle of it, as was I, as usual. I think more so now because this was the time of year we were in the hospital with Andrew 5yrs ago. This time 5 yrs ago Andrew was doing fab, and we thought he’d get through the leukemia. Well, I guess he really did, just not in the way we had hoped or imagined he would.

We realize this grief is something we will have to deal with the rest of our lives. There is no escape from it, it will always be there as long as there is a breath in our bodies. Unfortunately most people do not get that, and think we’re alright and back to “normal,” because we have always been functioning and are in contact with Andrew.

Most people our age know what it’s like to send their child off to college. They know how hard it is to let them go even though they will see their child again, get phone calls from them, even if it is asking for money, AND have them home for the holidays, yet they still grieve their child leaving. Well, we’ll never have any of those things with our son. Our son is never coming back, and we’ll never get over it, as much as people would like us to.

Martin was having a venting session with Andrew this morning about his leaving. Yes, even Martin still has layers of grief to work through. Martin and Andrew had/have a very special father/son relationship, they were one another’s best friend. The 3 of us were/are best friends. Martin’s venting session went a little like this, Martin calling Andrew a few choice names for leaving, names I won’t even put here, it’s between the 3 of us. Then Andrew trying to act shocked at how his father could call him such names, Martin seeing him making the effort to looked shocked at the names, but really knowing Andrew is unaffected by it. Then Andrew telling him, “It’s OK Daddy, us Spirits have pretty thick skin.” Martin called him on it, reminding him that he in fact had no skin anymore, hence the venting session. Then Andrew replied, “Yeah, it just goes right though us then.” Martin laughed and said “really, you’re gonna keep puns like that going?” Andrew said, “I could go all day Daddy!” And Martin knew he could too. They both laughed because Martin knew Andrew was armed and ready with the puns, and he has all the time in the world!

Martin went on to tell me how grief is like a wagon wheel. There’s parts of the wheel that get crusty and you have to scrape away at it. Each time it comes around you have to scrape off more of the crust. For Martin it was venting this morning to Andrew that was a part of the scraping at it. It’s too much to get the crust off all at once, so you get what you can until it comes around again, and make no mistake, it WILL come around again. I totally get that, if you try to get it all at once, you can get stuck in just trying to get all that crust off and miss what’s going on around you. But if you are able to clean it a little bit at a time, the wheel keeps working and you keep moving forward. I think that is a great metaphor for the cycle of grief.

It’s like you’re going along fine, lalalalala, then BAM! There’s that damn crust stuck in the wheel again that needs to be addressed if you want to keep moving forward. Martin and I realize that, and honor those crusty ole feelings of grief as they come up. We scrape another layer off and the wheel runs better for longer each time the work is done.

Even while Martin was venting, Andrew honored it, but also used humor to raise Martin’s vibration so he didn’t get lost in the grief. What an incredible gift humor and laughter are! Andrew still makes us laugh! I feel so blessed to have those gifts of laughter and humor in our lives, it is what helps us cope with this cycle of grief.


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2 Responses to The Cycle of Grief

  1. Karen T says:

    Hugs to you both…again and again.

  2. admin says:

    Thank you Karen!

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