I’m all packed. I’ve cleaned up the guest room in this lovely home where I’ve been visiting. I’m not ready to go.
This friend I’m visiting has the courage to ask the hard questions, to probe past the “fine” uttered by my lips. She doesn’t judge, but she does challenge. She doesn’t minimize or try to look on the bright side (hate that). She has compassion. And she prays for me. She helps bring my reality to the surface so that I do not live a life of denial or escapism. (I thought sure chocolate was invented precisely for that reason.)
As a parent who manages my daughter’s chronic complex care needs, I’m exhausted. Not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. If other complications didn’t exist in my life (HA!) then I’d not be so weary. But they do. The last two years have been quite difficult. A job I thought I would love turned out to be a job that 95% of the duties just were not me at all and some very sad things happened there. My daughter went through a horrific physical illness that lasted a few months and was terrifying. I lost a close friend. I’m married and have four other children. I’m grateful for my family and I am delighted with each member. Everyone goes through hard stuff in life. It is to be expected. You might be asking why I am whining?
I hate that term…. whining. Although my children do it and I can/do label it quite accurately, I do not believe that grieving and whining are the same thing at all. There are better terms for what parents, women especially, do in this debriefing of grief. We have to be able to share the pain of our lives with our dearest friends in order to release it. We all know that keeping it bottled up inside causes stress on our bodies and brains.
So call a friend, go for a walk, talk from your heart and don’t be embarrassed when your eyes are red and puffy. It is a sign of life. Real life.
Excuse me while I go get some tissue to mop up these tears. It is hard to leave such a true friend. It is hard to go back to real life.