Drowning in Grief

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It has been an awful week. Both my beloved grandparents died on Saturday just hours apart from each other. The loss has devastated our family and their community.

We were preparing for my grandpa’s passing the last few weeks and I even took a trip to say my final goodbyes in person. I spent a few days with my family helping them get through the anticipatory grief and creating legacy building activities. We made several canvases with his handprints, so that everyone could have a little piece of him in their home. We also made a beautiful clay mold of both my grandparent’s hands side by side. I thought this would be something my grandma could always treasure, now the family is.

Drowning in Grief

As my grandpa’s condition worsened and my grandma suddenly became very ill, I had to say my final goodbyes through FaceTime. It was incredibly difficult to compose my thoughts and actually speak on them, as I knew that by saying it, I was accepting the fact that they would no longer be with us.

It was one the hardest things that I have ever faced, but I did it.

The grief struck instantly and I was drowning in the sea of emotions.

I was alone in my home and wailing uncontrollably. I frantically called my husband and close friends to help me get through this critical time.

They were my life boats.

As the next several days have passed, I found myself still stuck in the ocean waters. The waves roll in unexpectedly and I am flooded with memories and emotions. Sometimes the tide is low and I feel incredibly isolated and numb or I am caught in a rip current bringing me back to the depths of the ocean with feelings of pain, anger and guilt.

I am incredibly grateful for my friends, family and colleagues. They have been throwing me life preservers to help me feel safe in such a critical time.

Thank you all for the phone calls, text messages, cards and emails.

As a person who usually takes the lead to help others through grief, this is the first time I am on both the giving and receiving end. It is a bizarre experience.

I have found strength knowing that my skills are helping my family to cope and also understand one another’s grief experience. We are becoming more united and will face this devastation together as a strong force.

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13 thoughts on “Drowning in Grief

  • Sorry about your loss! Although it’s a difficult event to go through losing your loved ones, remember that a lot of people don’t get the chance to say their final goodbyes. I’m glad you are finding strength through friends and family! Continue being strong and remember all the loving memories they’ve given you 🙂

    • Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. They were an amazing couple that just couldn’t live apart from one another. I am forever grateful for my close relationship with them. Their legacy is strong!

  • So sorry for your loss. It’s amazing that you are using your child life work to help not only your family, but yourself as well. As you know, dealing with grief takes time and positive coping skills. Enjoy the legacy work you have created with them and keep them in your heart always.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

    • Aww, thank you Alex. I really appreciate it. I have to say just writing the post this morning brought so much healing for me. I am in a really good place now and feel at peace knowing that they are together and will forever watch over us.
      Thank you for your kind words.

  • Shani,
    Your words bring tears to my eyes. Blogging is an incredible coping mechanism, anchoring you to a caring audience who all probably want to help you as much as you have helped them. Keep riding those waves. The tide will keep shifting and there will be seconds of calm, then moments, then hours, then days. You are beloved and a good enough parent even as you try to manage your own grief, let alone your family’s.

    • Your words are always such a light of hope for me. You have helped me through the darkest moments of this grief and I am forever appreciative. You are right, the blogging piece is cathartic and healing. I feel such a lightness after hitting publish. Thanks my dear friend for being my life boat 🙂

  • Oh Shani, I am so terribly sorry. I know there isn’t anything I can say to make you feel better, but I will be praying for you and your family.Virtual hugs, strength and courage as you continue on this very painful time in your life. XO