After The Exodus...A Five Part Series On Grief Management
"I just learned that there's going to be a lot of painful times in life, so I better learn to deal with it right away."
-Trey Parker & Matt Stone South Park
The events of the past week have been devastating. For those of us who now consider ourselves refugees of AOL Journal Land, we have faced finding an entirely new home for our inner most thoughts and feelings. We are faced with learning a brand new way to journal and we are still looking back on the routines we knew so well with longing. It was a comfort, especially when we were hurting, to log onto our journals and take for granted how easy it would be to let the pain out. We could put our deepest feelings down in words, and soon someone would come by to help us through it.
I know the feeling of being loved through a time of grieving. My good friend Frank passed away in December of 2003, just a few months after we met through our journals on AOL. Frank was a very good listener, and a very good man. His loss still pulses through the community, he is still missed so much that he was recently nominated for a VIVI Award, which is a peer to peer recognition. It was hard to know that suddenly Frank wouldn't be there anymore to share in my life. To make me laugh, to help me feel a little less scared and unsure about my writing on my journal, to encourage me to keep picking up the camera and looking for beauty. We all felt the shock of him suddenly being taken from us, and the feelings we all had, though individually, brought us together because we were sharing a common loss and the common occurrence after any loss...grief.
Grief is it's own entity. It will manifest whether we want it to or not. It is the sudden anger we feel when there is no particular reason to feel upset. It is the sadness we feel when it seems like there is no way to ever feel better, it is the begging we do with ourselves or others to just please "make it right" so we can stop feeling so completely lost. It is the feeling like it must not really be happening. The loss somehow isn't real..."it just can't be." I know one or two things about these feelings, I felt them when Frank passed away and all over again less the two weeks later I found out my own mother had passed away and no one had told me.
What we have all just gone through together and yet,individually, is a loss. A huge one. Sometimes I think anger is the easiest of all the five stages of grief to understand and deal with. Anger can make you proactive. It can make it very clear what you are thinking and feeling and why. When I have faced the death of someone I have loved, it was anger that always manifested itself first. But if it isn't kept in check a lot of damage can take place, sometimes damage we regret terribly later on after we have finished the stages of grief we inevitably arrive at and endure.
I want to help this time of transition go a little less painful for this community. Whether you have joined me here on Blogspot or if you have chosen to remain at AOL Journals, you are still my friends and my community neighbors. I don't care any less for you because we have faced some bad decisions on the part of AOL. Nothing has to change if down deep we really don't want it to. So, at the request of a few of my journal land friends and neighbors I will be running a five part series on grief management beginning next Monday, November 28th, and running through Friday, December 2nd. My goal is to have members from both AOL Journals and members here on Blogspot come by to share how they are feeling and how we try to bridge this gap together.
Loss will happen in life. I have come to know this so intimately that sometimes it feels like it is the only thing that really happens passionately and completely, but I really know that while it's presence is certainly invasive, and at times way to hard to take, I know it has to be done to reach the peace that will be the final acceptance of the loss. Yes, acceptance...that is the warm hug that allows you to move forward...and believe me it does. If I had never experienced loss I would say tell me I don't know about what I am talking about, but trust me...I do know what grief is.
Please encourage as many people as you can think of to join us. If they have vowed to never read a journal written by a Blogspot journalist...ok...it is perfectly ok to be a lurker, no one has to know they were here. If you know someone who is having a hard time learning to adjust to their new home here and all the new things we have to learn about Blogspot...well...have them come by and let them see they aren't all the things we tend to tell ourselves we are when we are frustrated. You know...stupid, slow, dumb bunny. Those are just my personal adjectives for myself...but from here on out I need to take my own advice and realize I am grieving the loss of all the work and love I put into Ellipsis. Over 2 years worth of my personal history. Of course it hurts.But hey, a little grief anger yesterday allowed me to teach myself how to add links to my sidebar. I did it myself. That is the good side of grief anger...feeling proactive.
Please leave all comments and questions you would like to see addressed in this upcoming series in the comment thread of this entry only. If you leave a question or comment in a different comment section there is a good chance it could be overlooked. It is a goal for me to make this as indepth and helpful as possible so that we can all find that common ground that brought us together as neighbors and friends anyway...the ability and need to reach out and share ourselves through community spirit and light.