We Suffer Alone

I’m writing from a place of sadness. A kind of empty sadness unlike any other I have ever known. I lost my mother recently.

Well, it’s not like I misplaced her, she passed away. And wrestling with my emotions surrounding it is, on the best day, odd. On the worst? Painful.

These days are the latter of the two.

Now, this doesn’t mean I am incapable of functioning. I am.
Being blessed with strength has helped.
Being blessed with sensitivity has not.

Friends have visited, notes have been received and condolences expressed. Some have even shared their own experiences. For all of this I am truly grateful.

And while their hearts are all in the right place as the dust settles all I want to be is alone. Ignored. Forgotten. I don’t want comfort.

Comfort comes with an expiration date.

After all is said and done grieving is a solitary process and it’s something that must be done alone.

The best exchange was with a colleague who said in an email “I’m sorry. I just don’t know what to say in these situations.” I replied “Simply acknowledging you don’t know what to say is acknowledgement enough. Sometimes there is nothing to say.” He then shared the story of losing his mother abruptly when he was a young man.

Not sure I would have ever considered electronic empathy possible.

We spoke again on the phone and he said “It just takes time. You’ll have good days and you’ll have bad days.” I wanted to ask how much time, but who can place a time on this sort of thing? It’s different for everyone. Right?

For me, this whole good/bad days feeling is compounded by guilt.
Guilt about wanting to be alone.
Wanting to be alone, that’s normal. Right?
Guilt because who am I to feel bad about losing a parent?
In the scheme of things, all of this is to be expected. Right?
People lose people all the time. Death is part of life.

That shouldn’t diminish my own sense of loss.  Right?

My loss is my loss. It’s no greater or less than anyone else. Right?
So why can’t I feel that without guilt?
Why can’t I feel that loss and withdraw without the risk of hurting feelings?
Why does it feel like there is an expiration date on my grief?

My sense of loss and grief is different from my brothers. It’s different from my fathers: it stands to reason then so is my process.

Is there an end to this process?
This sadness?
Of course there is.
There must be.

I don’t know.

For better or for worse, I am on my own.
For better or for worse, we suffer alone.