Monday, September 5, 2011

Grief, Grieving and Going Forward

So where did almost 4 months go?? My poor little blog, I have neglected you and your readers terribly....I do know I have been just so heavy with sadness, whenever I slowed down enough to think, that the thought of actually writing has been quite simply a non-starter. And besides this, I find no joy in the photography I used to endlessly generate. On one hand, the campground and all the associated work here has made this a busy summer. On the other hand, I've found myself to be essentially mute and words have been hard to find.

When I finally woke up one morning and realized I wasn't snapping out of it, I found some help in the form of a support group offered by our local hospice. It sounds kind of crazy, but there really are aspects of grieving that can be explained and even quantified and being around a small group of other folks who have recently lost a parent is truly giving me a new and better outlook. Plus we have counselors leading us along who are experienced and wise. So I take a 4 hour break now, one day a week, and drive a few towns over to participate in a 2 hour gathering then drive back home, usually, utterly drained of emotion...which is good...because I sleep like a log and then can process things even more the next day.

And I guess that's another way to say things take time. It's a process. It's a journey. It's different for everyone and each person handles grief in their own personal way. But there seem to be threads and touchstones that many folks have in common, so with this to work from, one can share, and from there, heal, in order to move on.

I have a history of losing loved ones in my family. But the last time there was a string of losses was about 30 years ago when I lost multiple grandparents, my sister and my mom all in the stretch of a few years. And so I have a history of burying myself in making things. As much as possible, excluding/ignoring the world writ large, and just making things. I guess it's an avoidance technique? Some escapism? A distraction from thinking about other things? I am not very good at self-analysis but have been looking for patterns as I begin to wake up here, look back, and think again.

I'm not sure how far I can take this grieving process in my blog. I'd hope to pick up some of the pieces to resume the joy of life "behind the gallery" view, in that more happy sense. It's been pointed out to me that after such a large loss, a person goes forward changed, it's inevitable and inescapable. So I'm not sure what that actually "means" but I guess I will begin to find out and share what I can here!


Ann said...

Karen I am so sorry to hear that you have had such a hard time but I'm glad you've found a place where you can work through your grief.
It is nice to see you back in blog land. Take care of yourself and do what you need to do

Lin said...

I'm glad that you found solace and comfort in your group, Karen. It is important to grieve and to acknowledge, embrace, and eventually move on from those strong feelings and emotions. You can't heal without feeling them--it is vital to your emotional health.

That said, we are here for whatever you would like to share. We'll laugh and cry with you--or maybe sometimes just listen and read. That is what your blog is for--to process the day. Well, it is for me. :)

I have missed you, my friend. And the one thing I did not do this summer that was on my list, was to come stay at the Will Oaks Campground. I hope that next summer I can do just that. And you and I can sit for a spell and laugh. Let's plan on that, okay?

In the meantime, I'm sending hugs. This too shall pass. I promise, it will.

WillOaks Studio said...

Ann and Lin I'm so happy you both stopped by and thanks so much for your kind and gentle thoughts....I will be more steady and regular. I do miss this part of my old life and thanks for welcoming me back!! And Lin? Yes, the old campground will still be going next year!! Hope you will stop by then (with Hobbs!??)

yoon see said...

Take care dear, I hope you will feel better as time will heal!

randomcreative said...

Wishing you all the best with everything Karen. I'm glad that you have a support group.

Josep said...

I'm so sorry, Karen. I lost my father this summer too so I know a little what you are going through, although I suppose all these loses in your family, 30 years back, worsen your grief. As you say, each person handles it in their own way. I'm glad you're attending support gatherings and of course it is nice to read a post of yours again.


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