Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Grief Isn't Negative

I wasn't going to write tonight - but what's with all this emphasis on being happy all the time?  No wonder so many people take drugs.  I'm writing this in the third place in a row in response to an article that "positive emotions" can be part of grieving.  Who decided some emotions are positive and others are negative?  I don't think sadness and anger are negative.  I think they are.  Emotions are negative when they are out of balance.  One way to get them out of balance is to discredit them or think they are bad.  I think it's good I am sad that my husband died.  I don't mind being angry sometimes that I am here without him.  Life is this wonderful tapestry woven of threads of all colors.  It shouldn't be changed so that only jolly colors are allowed in.  One way to get emotions out of balance is not to pay attention to them.  Let them all come to the table and have their say.  When you are sad  be sad.  When you are happy, be happy.  Of course there are things you can do to make yourself feel better - that doesn't mean you can't have a bad day or schedule in time for grief.  If I feel I have been too busy I'll crawl into bed and set the timer to give myself 20 or 30 minutes to talk to Artie and tell him how much I miss him and how sad I am that he isn't with me but that I understand he had to leave.  If I don't give myself time to be positively sad or angry - guess what - I'm probably going to get sick or start making stupid mistakes.  If I make my mind ignore my feelings - my body is going to take over and let me know what is happening.

Why does this culture want to take away the richness of the palate of human emotions?  I wonder if this need to follow your bliss all the time leads to a lack of compassion for the suffering of others.  If we can't have empathy for someone grieving the death of one person they love (even if that grief lasts 100 years) how do we have empathy for survivors of plane crashes, earthquakes, genocide etc...  If you were in a concentration camp you don't forget.  If you were injured in a war you don't forget.  If you were in a city that was bombed you don't forget.  I want to weep for all these people that suffer. All we can do for those who have died is make sure they are remembered.  That is why people build memorials.  My husband died. I'm not going to forget.  I can live a full and happy life and still have time to grieve. 

Well - sometimes I just have to stop writing and take a shower.  See - time for ranting and for clean hair too!  Here's to a world that allows light in the darkness and doesn't deny the darkness in the light. 

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