I woke somewhat before the alarm, so I had some time to just lie and think. Sometimes after a session like that I truly wonder how the contents of my mind all came together the way they have. Such a mix of ideas, subjects, opinions.
But one thought that kept returning was about grief. Recently a friend’s daughter died. An alcoholic who kept hiding the worst from her family, eventually her organs failed and she died. A youngish woman attractive, very bright, a successful career in her chosen field, warmhearted, friendly. Not someone who seemed to have problems.
How families cope with loss, some guilt, some anger, is something that interests me.
Parents whose adult child dies before them must have quite a mix of emotions to deal with. Sadness, at various levels, depending on how close they were. Emptiness or loss, depending again how close they were. Frustration if they knew something but were prevented from taking action to help, or were too far away to be able to help. Anger at the child if it was due to something they did or did not do. Guilt, as if they could somehow have prevented it, and guilt at living on while their child was dead.
My heart goes out to my friend, but at a detached level I wonder how he is coping.
I know I deal with grief by being busy, taking time out to be alone to be able to cry, scream, blame, demand and all those things it seems to take to move on to remembering the best of the person who has died. I occasionally (usually at the funeral) can’t cope and have a tear flooded sobbing session. Very embarassing.
I suspect those who seem unable to move on, accept the death and remember the past without letting themselves be free of it,; these people need to go off and actively do their grieving,