Grief is a strange thing. It comes at you when you least expect it. You think that you’re ok until you’re suddenly not. As awkward and uncomfortable as these moments can be, they are completely normal and ok. It’s not a sign that you’re unraveling.
I had to remind myself of that today. I as grocery shopping and there was this little teapot flower pot with a small red flower planted in it. When I saw it I thought to myself that I should buy that for my Grandmother because she would love it. Then reality caught up with me and I was struck with the grief of her death. So, there I was in the grocery store, holding this little pot and crying.
That’s how it is. Something will remind us of the person or the thing that we are grieving and the emotions come at us all over again. Grief is something that never really leaves you. It washes over you in waves. There are times that the tide is high and the feelings seem unbearable, like you might drown in them. Then the tide goes out and you feel like you’re alright, like maybe the grieving is finally done.
When you have a chronic illness, you engage in grieving. You grieve for the healthy body you can no longer have, the independence and freedom you’ve lost, the jobs you can no longer take, the dreams that have slipped away and so much more. Like all grieving, this will come in waves.
The first crashing wave hits when you are first diagnosed and told that you’re never going to get better. You struggle with the idea of what this means, adjust to this new image of yourself and get on with your life. But there will be other waves. Buying adaptive equipment can be one of these times. While it is freeing to now own something that will help you better function in your life, it is also a physical reminder of everything you’re grieving.
Every human experiences grief. We all have losses and struggles that add water to this difficult ocean. Be kind to yourself as you ride these waves. Your grief is always valid. It doesn’t matter if no one else understands why you are crying over a little teapot flower. Don’t compare your grief to anyone else’s. Each ocean is unique and filled with different creatures. One is not greater then the other or more important. Each ocean is just as worthy as every other ocean.