a place of refuge, seclusion, or privacy
a retirement or a period of retirement for religious exercises and meditation.
the recession of a surface, as a wall or panel, from another surface beside it.
—verb (used without object)
to withdraw, retire, or draw back, especially for shelter or seclusion.
to make a retreat
to draw or lead back.
It has been unintentional, this backing away, hiding out, retreating. I could certainly sense that I was doing it, maybe even wanting it. My emotions are so raw and so hard – it’s easier to hide away, be alone, and try not to bring others into the sad. I don’t want to be sad, so I certainly would rather not be on display with the exposed grief that seems to be wafting over me constantly. Did I think it would go unnoticed? I’m not sure if I thought about it at all…it just happened.
Grief is difficult. One minute your managing just “fine” and the next, you’re sopping up tears at the red light, hoping the people in the other cars don’t see you, all red-nosed and drippy. Then you realize you don’t care what they see.
I have been blessed to have friends who have been here for me. They are at a loss as to how to help of course, but they are here. That’s good, just so good. Just be here…be there when I seek something other than seclusion again. Then, be there when I can’t make that last very long. There are so many hurting people who don’t have anyone who is willing to just be waiting. People are not patient, they don’t like not knowing what to do, so they retreat as well.
I get that…but I think I will need my friends. Who knows which ones will make the struggle with me and who will turn away? It’s a fact that many grieving families lose other relationships because people just slip quietly back into their own lives, into living.
Being in the midst of grief, I can see how hard it might be for others (unless they have lost a child) to have any idea, any small notion of how “do life” with me or maybe even be there from a distance. It’s ugly. This grief. It’s painful to go through. It’s painful to watch. It sucks.
As a mother who grieves for her son, there is grief upon grief, as she watches her living children suffer through it. Moms don’t like that. Watching their children suffer. Yet, everyone will grieve differently and we just have to be available to those needs. As much as I don’t want to be without my son, I don’t want them to be without their brother. He was their rock, the one who kept them straight, who yelled at them if they didn’t tow the line. He was the firstborn, which to him translated to “in control!” They actually like it like that! 😉 It was a given! He was also the first to bring them into a loving headlock for an apology (from him)!
So many things have changed since we lost our son…our family dynamic has changed tremendously, our friends are unsure of how to help, we don’t even know how to help ourselves.
What I do know is that this is a lonely journey. It’s no ones fault. It simply is a solitary path that is in most places wide enough for just one. The journey is remarkable in the sense that it can only experienced by individuals, who might actually be surrounded by multitudes of well-meaning people.
As his mother, I will experience it differently than his dad. Not less, just different. I can only imagine the grandparents. They have to grieve their grandchild, as well, as the gaping hole left in their own son or daughter. My heart aches within me at the thought of losing one of my grandchildren – it would also be a partial loss of my child. For I know, when your child dies, part of you does too.
If everyone retreats – The friends – The church family – The friends of the deceased – The church family of the deceased – The family …mom, dad, brothers, sisters…well anyone. It makes it harder.
I am in a major retreat pattern right now. Barely answering texts, email, calls, etc. I don’t want to pull away…it’s just where I am at the moment.
Retreat is not an action I would have thought I would take; yet I never thought my child would precede me in death.