Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dealing With Grief Christmas 2009

This last decade has been a decade of grief for the world. The last such decade of grief I would say was from 1960 to 1970. The reasons then for grief was "The Bay of Pigs", The "Cuban Missile Crisis", The Viet Nam War and 50,000 American dead from it and 250,000 wounded and countless other walking wounded with the survivors that still walk hollow eyed our hiways and byways that have somehow survived since then. JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King assasinated and many famous musicians self destructed through drugs and excess etc. etc. etc.

I would say this last decade is the only one that tops the 1960s in grief. Though the 1970s had Watergate and recessions, still it just didn't seem as bad as the 1960s to me.I guess I enjoyed the 1970s too much because I was 22 to 32 during that decade.

But the last ten years broke everyone's heart on earth to watch. But for me, personally, it was devastating to watch my mother go into senile dementia in 1999 and slowly die from it over 10 years, especially because the doctor kept saying that without senile dementia she would have easily lived to be 100. So, last year, a few months from her 90th birthday she died around the same age as her mother, and two sisters died who all died at 90.

Though I'm very very grateful that she is gone for her sake and I totally could never cope with the strangers my mother became that often didn't remember who I was, I still miss the mother I knew up until 1999 when she lost it.

I have vowed to myself to find a way to die before something like this happens to me.

I remember my 65 year old cousin talking about a man they knew that died in a storm rounding the tip of South America in Heavy seas in a cruise ship designed for a heavy weather cruise. I said to my cousin, "Boy, that's the way to go doing something you love!" He gave me a strange look but also realized that that is how my father and grandfather would have thought as well.

I find myself being unnaturally upset with my adult children this holiday season and have been angry with myself for feeling this way. I finally realized that it is my avoiding my feelings of grief for my mother and father not being here this Christmas that is getting to me and not really to do with my children at all. It is feeling very alone carrying the patriarchal role for my family. I find it weighs very heavily upon my shoulders, more so that when I was in my 50s. I find myself struggling to be emotionally strong enough to carry the weight after all that has happened internationally and personally during this decade. I find I have to pray a lot more than usual to go on. And maybe that's a good thing!

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