Recently, I attended a continuing education session on grieving when everyone else has moved on. Like when we are 7 months removed from a hurricane but you are still getting insurance going on your houses JD no one wants to hear your feeling devastated still. Or when you are still hurting for your parent 8 weeks after the funeral and supposedly that’s not okay. Or when you’ve lost a job and you are still trying to put the pieces together months later. Move on, grieve well, but move on, as though hurt is controlled and managed like a modern day manufacturing plant.
But it’s not.
That session connected with me. On the whole I feel I am doing okay post separation from Elana, but most others have moved on because it is not their journey. But it is mine, and there are moments where I want to explode or internally combust trying to either make sense of life or out of sadness for choices made or disappointment for who some chose to be in all of this. These are typical emotions, and shocking if not felt just 2-3 remover from the events. Divorce sucks, and it sucks with kids and it sucks in general because it just does!
But…I feel guilty talking about it and venting when I need to. I don’t want to sound like a broken record. I don’t want to be the guy who just talks about one thing and everyone gets tired of it. I feel guilty because I believe that I can’t fully vent without claiming my own failures and weaknesses and that makes me feel worse!
I feel like a failure if I talk more about this stuff or vent. It looks like I am not moving on, or that I can’t handle emotions. I know that is bad culture talking and even know that I work in a career that seems to do the opposite. But I feel like I am failing if I bring it up in a negative way- shouldn’t I always be positive and hopeful and feel good about the future? I actually do feel positive and hopeful and good about the future, but I want to vent my frustration once in a while and know that I’m heard…without judgment.
I also feel lonely when I vent or feel these things when others have moved on. It’s in these times that I recognize the key people in key roles who are not there anymore when I need to talk. And let’s be honest, some people have either moved on or have no clue what to say or how to listen. It’s in these times that I find myself seeing what parents who lose a child experience- no one can quite walk in your shoes in your experience. That’s one lonely road when one is hurting.
So I grieve and hurt from time to time, but I do it while most others have moved on, including some involved. This grief requires one step at a time and intense alone time that allows one to face the shadows and walk away a wounded warrior. This grief almost requires a self effort that seems impossible at times. It’s hard. And it’s made all the harder because naturally and for good reasons, others have moved on to live their lives and not yours. Just know that when others move on, we who still grieve can be left in beautifully desolate places, places that offer joy and pain in the same hand.
To everyone who might read, I will be okay. God will walk me through. But God has to, because I still grieve when others have walked on.