Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Rising From The Ashes of Loss, My Voyage Through Grief: excerpt # 27
The Dangers of Unresolved grief
The Ride, part 3, the end
...I can barely face the fact that I behaved in such an irresponsible manner. I’m usually Mr. Cool, the guy who leisurely strolls along at turtle speed while listening to smooth jazz and occasionally pull on the side of the road to let other hurried drivers pass by. What just went on here? Dazzled and confused, after much deliberation I come to the inescapable conclusion that grief is involved, unresolved grief to be more precise. Reflecting back, I realize that in the past three years when Louise was under cancer treatment, our lives were so very restricted that we almost never left home. She was always too weak to travel and in the off chance that we did try a furtive escape, it was always cut short by a pressing retreat back at the house. The only time we did force the outing was to go out for her treatments at the hospital. No fun there, only stress, and lot’s of it! Being her sole caretaker was a twenty-four hours a day job, and as the years went by it progressively turned into a way of life for me. I grew into the grips of restrictions so progressively that it became a normalcy for me. I did not think twice about it and I did what I had to do, no after-thoughts, no regrets, no resentment, and I probably would have done it for the rest of my life if she would not have passed away.
My unexpected little escapade though makes me realize that through these three long years I continuously refrained from expressing myself emotionally. Being Louise’s sole caretaker meant standing guard twenty-four/seven without flinching. Her physical and emotional needs were so pressing at times that I had to put my own on the back burner, no time to be sick, tired, sad or depressed, no breakdown possible here. That could come later, if it had to come at all, I reasoned. Strength and determination were of the essence and I gave it my best shot.
The fact that I was losing the love of my life, my best friend, my future, my life that could have been but will never be had to be ignored if I were to survive my ordeal and be an efficient lifesaving buoy for Louise. But I was suffering, I was suffering a lot, and I knew that there would be a price to pay for this later, that these repressed and unresolved emotional grief issues would need to be unleashed at some point and today was one of those days. On that particular road, in that particular car, at that particular time I snapped and turned into a devil in need of release. That's how dangerous and devastating unresolved grief can be. My temporary release valve sure enough gave me some kind of solace, but I sense that there is still a few more skeletons hiding in my closet and I need to be careful not to have a repeat performance.
Jokingly I made a promise to myself that while in the process of resolving my grief I would seek a more benign form of expression as a coping strategy. Here’s a good idea, why not ride a bicycle to exhaustion, which shouldn’t take too long anyway considering the pitiful physical shape I'm in. Oh well, I’ll find something eventually, that’s what counts.About the car, I know what you're thinking and NO I'm not getting rid of it. Mr. Caddie, my good buddy stays with me, period...
Dr. Pierre Milot, Ph.D., Ph.D. (tc)
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