Grief Pangs

As I do almost daily, I read my friend Marilyn’s blog post on Saturday.  She has started a weekly Saturday feature that is so fun – a wrap up that entails some of her favorite internet finds, things that are on her heart, and what is currently on her bedside stand (in other words, what book [s] might she be reading right now).

Almost as compelling as the blog post itself are the comments left by a handful (which is sometimes a very large handful) of daily followers.  Marilyn interacts with her commenters as one would a friend, and she does so – whether they have met in person or not – because they are.  I have come to enjoy her friends as well.

What happened in my heart on Saturday in my heart is something that has happened other times as I have read the comment section. It is not terribly new to me. However, it does always catch me off guard.  The thought has stayed with me now for a few days which usually means I am to write a post about the thought, but I almost would prefer not to do so.

I had a grief pang.

In June, we will remember for the tenth year in a row the death of my mom.  After 10 years, the pain is both much more dull and just as fresh as it was the morning that she died.  While I originally thought that I could predict what would bring about the grief pangs, I now know that I have absolutely no idea what might and what might not do so.

Marilyn’s mom is a frequent commenter in her comment section.

And the great part about the fact that she is a commenter is that she identifies herself in exactly that way – Marilyn’s Mom.  Everyone else has their first name or their blog name or even their Twitter sign @tweeter_someone, but Marilyn’s mom is just Marilyn’s mom.

The thought that went through my mind the first time I saw this was the same thought that went through my mind on Saturday.

That is so cool; I am so jealous.

At first, I scolded myself.  Stacy Ann, you can’t be jealous!

What a horrible feeling to have toward my good friend.  It is not her fault that her mom is alive and mine is not.  It is not her fault that her mom comments on her blog while mine never had the chance.

And then I realized that I do not feel this feeling toward my friend.  Rather, I feel it because it is just another reminder that my mom is gone.

I am honestly happy that other women still have their moms around.  It stinks that mine is gone, and I do not really wish these feelings on anyone else.  The problem is that their moms being around is not a quiet occurrence.

They have something that I do not have.

As I wrote the previous sentence, another thought crossed my mind: That is always the problem with us as humans.  We compare our situations, and we find that we are lacking. Rather than seeing the great things that we have in our lives, we see only what others have that we do not.

I realize that it is ok for me to be sad about my mom being gone; however, I have to ensure that I do not stay that way for too long.  These things happen. People die.  Every second of every minute of every day of every month of every year – someone…many someones dies.

And when they do, we are left with a sincere sadness that they are gone.

While we can be sad, we must look around us and be willing to keep on living.  They are gone, but we are here.  We are sad, but there are many others around us who need us. And they need us to live…to be alive.

Grief pangs can put us on the sidelines, but we have to return to the game.  We are not meant to be spectators; we are meant to be participants (I initially wrote players but worried about the double meaning – ha! Glad for the comic relief?).

Are you on the sidelines today? Be gentle with yourself. Do something calming or chaotic – whatever you need to do.  But get back into the game…soon.  The rest of your team needs you, and they want you to play.

By the way: this coming Saturday would have been my mom’s 63rd birthday.  As I read Marilyn’s post that day, I will thank God that her mom is able to comment – what a gift!