Apart from a big plate of chocolate chip cookies, I came away from the National Suicide Survivors Day, with a little more understanding about grief.
I had begun to suspect that the constant fatigue and lassitude I feel, are a byproduct of grief. Even Rayo, whose son died a year before Andrew, told me that she is not physically where she used to be before her son shot himself.
Even so, many a time I lie there pissed with myself because I don’t feel like lifting a finger.
I used to start cooking a meal the day before, in my head, so keen and joyful I was about feeding my family, carefully creating dishes that not only satisfied the palate and nurtured the spirit, but gave the body everything it needed to, not only survive, but thrive.
Now, day after day I haven’t a clue what to cook, half of the time I don’t have the ingredients, and when it comes to actually cooking, it is an effort. By the time I’ve rustled something up and cleaned up after the meal, I am worn out.
But for the subject to have come up during the broadcast, as one of the “side effects” of grief was helpful to me. Instead of berating myself for being lazy and useless, I can be kind and loving and tell myself that this is how it is at the moment. It won’t last forever (hopefully).
Even the nasty rash I had all over my body two months after Andrew died, I discovered, is not uncommon, some of the other survivors had suffered from similar afflictions.
Grief, particularly the complex, multi layered grief that comes from losing a loved one to suicide, does a real number on the body. It does a number on the immune system.
“Andrew,” I thought, sarcastically I admit. “Ain’t this good to know?”
So from now on, I am going to keep track of all that I am able to accomplish rather than the other way around.
So, Dear Iola, Rayo, Shannon, Susan, Elisa, Sherry, Dave and all the other survivors out there, let’s give ourselves a break and a pat on the shoulder for all that we are able to accomplish.
Have a great day,