Saturday, September 11, 2010

Are You Talking To Me?

I made the mistake of wasting time looking at sites talking about "complicated grief" the diagnosis I believe is totally bogus that gives you a laundry list of symptoms and if you have something like five out of nine of them after six months you have a "mental disorder".  I'm not against getting psychological and medical help with grief, if needed.  I do.  I think depression exists and there are treatments for it.  Grief and depression are not the same.  People grieve in different ways and for differing lengths of time.  We each have our own burden and we deal with it in our own way.  This is not something to be judged or diagnosed.  There is no time limit on sadness.  The symptom that I reacted most strongly to was "the fantasy that you are being watched over and cared for or are in communication with your deceased loved one."  Many religions believe that the soul of the departed continues to watch over and care for the living people they love.  Many non-religious people believe this as well.  Many people also have reported sightings and communication with people who are no longer living.  I am a skeptical person but if I say I don't believe in Paris, Paris doesn't disappear.  Perhaps the "experts" should examine their fantasy that the spirit of a person dies along with their body.  Many people besides myself feel my husband's energy around me and around them.  On his birthday I lit a candle and put it on a cupcake.  He didn't blow it out - he doesn't have a body anymore.  However, I opened a poetry book I hadn't opened in years and found a note from him I had no memory of that told me how much he loved me and not to be insecure.  Coincidence?  I don't know.  I don't think that my feeling that his spirit or soul or whatever label you want to put on the form he is in now surrounds me with love and care is a fantasy.  I did speak with him through a friend who is a medium (again - being skeptical) - but she was very specific and not only nailed his personality but knew things she couldn't possibly know.  There are lots of fakes out there - but this friend is a very honest and spiritually grounded person.  I don't hear Artie's voice - again - he doesn't have a body - but I hear him.  I hear him the loudest when I say I don't know if he's here.  He says - I am here.  I always say - I know - but I miss the you with the face and voice and arms and legs.  If I spent every day in my room talking to him and not doing anything else that would definitely be a problem.  Talking to him sometimes - and hearing the odd comment - I was at the theater and I heard him say "If I was alive I'd be home watching boxing - now that I'm dead I can come with you everywhere." is not a problem.  It's a comfort. Maybe it's my imagination.  Maybe it's really him.  Whatever it is - it is NOT a symptom.  My work is not to "recover" from my grief but rather weave it into the fabric of my life so that I can accomplish the things I want.  The pace at which I am able to do this is the pace at which I am able to do this.  Artie and I love each other very much and because I am still on earth I might some day have another romantic relationship - even remarry - but if I do - I will still miss Artie.  If I don't have another romantic relationship, that's my choice as well - not part of a psychological diagnosis.  Eek.  I know it's like trying to bail out the ocean - but that's the point of blogging for me- expressing my feelings and opinions instead of keeping them inside.   Don't be afraid to live, which means don't be afraid to feel, which means don't be afraid to have grief as one of your feelings.  Grief and joy can co-exist. You don't have to obliterate one to have the other.

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