January 4th, 2016 by Jan

Grief is about attachment.

Now, this post may all be crap, or it may be right on, but these are the thoughts and conclusions I’ve got swirling around my head this week.

Grief is about attachment.

When famous people die – I pause to take it in, remember a story as to how I think of them, and depending on the person, I don’t really grieve, but I acknowledge their life and then their death.

If I didn’t know the person, but say they died in one of those horrid shootings in the states, or a big flood or fire, I shake my head, swallow and move on. I cannot say I grieve for the individual, as much as for the situation.

Now, if the phone rings and the death is someone I love, that is a different story. Still, how I grieve will totally depend on the relationship we held. Mostly, if we had finished business or not.

How was I attached?

When the phone rang with news of my mom’s death – I fell to my knees and wholeheartedly grieved for at least a full year. Today, I still morn her.

Same with the news of Kim. Pure grief.

With my dad and brother Bill though — it’s different.

I remember them, but I do not grieve them in the same way. I certainly think of them, tell stories, but I cannot say I’m in deep grief.

Why? Am I really that cold? No – I think the reason and the difference is…
Finished business.

I wanted more from my mom and Kim (just two examples). But, I believe my relationship with dad and brother Bill was completed. I suppose there is always more to say, learn, or hope for, but, my acceptance of their deaths have been easier to grieve.

I was with my dad a lot while was dying. I said what I needed to say. I knew it was coming, and was ready for his death. The last time I saw brother Bill, I also knew it would be the last time. We had had enough conversations to know where each of us stood in the others life. We had let go.

Mom and Kim on the other hand — we still had a lot more do cover. A lot more.

I wasn’t even close to being able to let them go when they died. I was quite attached to them (still am), so my grief is different.

I could go for some good conversations on this — but while walking the other day, and thinking about death and grief, I wondered why my grief for my dad and mom are so different.

It’s different because our relationship was different.
(I know I’m repeating myself here, but my bloggy thing, my rambles.)

I knew my dad better than I knew my mom. I had the gift to say goodbye to dad. Not so with mom. I’d like another visit with my mom, and while I think of my dad often, letting go has been easier.

I think grief is about wanting more.

Of course there are levels of grief, just as there are different levels of attachment.

I was sad when Frank Sinatra died; even lit a candle for the crooner. But, the next day I was on to something else. My heart broke when Peet died. I miss him very much, and 6 months later, I still find it too hard to even talk about.

Anyway – as we enter 2016, I’m wondering who’s name I’ll hear next.

I know it is important to grieve, to honour and to remember those who touched us, loved us and made their mark on us. I’ve had a bit of practice in the last several years.

I know it is important to be able to grieve well and not half assed.

I want to be clear with my relationships and to understand attachment.

Being attached is not a bad thing. I’m very attached to Ken, and yet while I want more — a lot more, I have no regrets or unfinished business with him today. We’ve live each day quite well, maybe not like it could be our last, but still quite well.

I know I that when the time comes (years and years from now) I will grieve hard though, because of the “more” I will want and the attachment I hold.

Some say, if you think you have your shit together, you are standing in it. I don’t think this is true. The bell of enlightenment is easier to ring on some days than it is on others.

I grieve because we are good AND I am attached.

2 thoughts on “thoughtsongrief

  1. Michael

    I appreciate your thoughts on Grief.

    When my dad died, about 14 years ago, his life was incomplete. His death was both sudden and expected. He wanted to live. He wanted more.

    When my mom died, about 6 years ago, there was no unfinished business. She died peacefully, in comfort in my home, surrounded by her loved ones. She wanted to die. I grieved, but it was a selfish type of grief, where I wanted her around for me. It was softened by the knowledge that she was ready to die. She was quite obsessed with suicide for just about as long as I can remember. Her fear was being helpless and in pain while she died in a protracted manner. That didn’t happen, so I was very grateful to hospice.

    When my dad died, it was both selfish grief, and sadness on his behalf, that his life was incomplete.

    It’s hard to compare the grief that you feel for two different people that you love. But the attachment to my mom was stronger. She was a big part of my daily life. And my mom dying hit me harder.

    So I would agree with you that it is about the level of attachment. And wanting more.

    Thanks for sharing.


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