By Susan Dromey Heeter
Grief and joyful musings tend not to be words joined together but this week’s musings are all about grief – the sorrow, the sadness, the tears, the joy. And there is joy in loss – in life, in a good cry where tears fall so rapidly Oprah terms it “ugly crying.” The fatigue of grief can be debilitating but the simplicity can be lovely. Just grieve, just be, just let go.
Life closest to the bone is where it is sweetest – when I have experienced true, true, heart-breaking grief, nothing really matters except pain, loss, despair. Grief is heavy, burdensome and the joy comes when that day hits and I realize, “I’m okay – that sentiment of ‘this too shall pass’ actually does come true.” I laugh. My tears do not come so immediately, I’ve actually left the house wearing mascara.
There is no time limit on grief, no rule book, no exact way of plowing through sadness, grief, loss. All I know is it can be joyful simply to realize one is grieving, one is mourning, one is running on empty – and that can lead to shorter trips or perhaps staying home. Driving on fumes is no fun…but the tank will be filled after a long, long pause, a long journey through grief.
I have a friend who is grieving right now – plowing through the sorrow of loss, of sadness, of crying uncontrollably at a moment’s notice. And I am grateful she shares her grief, allows her friends in to support her, to offer her Kleenex, to share their own times of sorrow. It’s sweet sorrow to be available to someone who hurts, to show up for life and death.
Grief brings us together – a funeral offers us a richness of shared tears, a community of mourners offers comfort and support. I once sent a friend a box of Kleenex and a flannel nightgown after her mom died. Grief can allow us to find the kindness in loss, the joy in tears, the tranquility in offering comfort.
And may you find your joy in whatever musings of grief you may make today. And keep the Kleenex handy, the mascara at the ready….all grief shall pass.
Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.