Thursday, May 1, 2014

Day 18: Grief. You May Experience...

March 18, 2014

A friend sent me some helpful info on grieving. It was reassuring because I'm aware that I've been posting a lot of things about Gareth, especially photos and memories. I know that's caused some people concern and I can only say I identify myself in the list below when it says some may "feel the need to tell and retell the story." I do. Any part of it. Good stuff on facebook and more difficult stuff privately, up to and including the week he died. I'd agree that I have "an intense preoccupation with the life of the deceased" in addition to having a lack of concentration and crying at unexpected times. It's nice to know this is normal.
(from what I was sent):

No two people will experience a loss in exactly the same way. Your grief will be as individual as your fingerprints. No one can tell you how to grieve. There are no formulas for how much the loss will hurt or how long grief will last, so do not compare yourself to others in similar situations.

Although grief is experienced by everyone in different ways, there are common patterns that most individuals will share. Allow yourself to feel these normal emotions so that you can get through the grief and go on with life. It is important to understand what some normal reactions might be. This will help make your behavior more predictable and less frightening to experience. Knowledge of the process of grief will help you to have a better sense of control over your reactions to loss. Because grief can be so painful and overwhelming, it can frighten us. Many people wonder if the feelings they have are “normal”.

Most people who are grieving the death of a loved one experience one or more of the following:

• Feel tightness in the throat or heaviness in the chest.
• Feel an empty feeling in the stomach and/or loss of appetite.
• Feel guilt or anger.
• Feel restless, search for activity, or have a lack of concentration.
• Feel a sense of the loved one’s presence, such as expecting the person to walk in the door at the usual time, hear his/her voice, or see his/her face.
• Wander aimlessly and forget or neglect to finish things started around the house.
• Experience an intense preoccupation with the life of the deceased.
• Feel intense anger toward the deceased for leaving.
• Protect other people from the intense emotions that you may feel.
• Feel the need to tell and retell the story of the loved one and remember him/her
• Experience mood changes over small daily incidents.
• Cry at unexpected times.

March 18, 2014

I drove to Gyeongju to meet Gareth once, and he had me meet him at his university. I pulled into a parking spot and saw him standing there next to a motorcycle, holding 2 helmets. "I wanted to surprise you!" he said. We pulled out the map and plotted a course that ended up being a beautiful ride to the lake. I remember well how he'd reach back and place his left hand on my leg while riding. He was always reaching to connect.  

March 18, 2014

We booked a night at a "luxury pension" several hours from Hadong. The drive there was fun enough (stopping at a cheese factory- of sorts), a temple with black bears, and a river with a picnicking spot. But the pension- that was lovely. We sprung for the top room which had an open-air bathtub on the roof. Nothing like a moon-lit bath with clouds that shaped hearts around the moon. Not kidding. It inspired a poem he wrote called "Hearts Around the Moon." 


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