I recently sat down and generated a list of 30 words that could be used to describe grief. Obviously this list relates to my experience with grief, so I am interested to see if anyone else can relate with some of these words. I plan on doing a series of postings that will not only define these words, but expand on why I thought they would be good descriptors.
The third word I chose is:
Debilitating: Defined as “to impair the strength of”
This word speaks to me as a descriptor of grief because I felt like I lost all of my strength. There were days I couldn’t get out of bed and when I did I would hurry into the shower, get ready and then hurry back to my wife’s bathroom door and stand there and cry while she was getting ready for work. I had no strength, it was gone and I was looking to my wife to help me. It was like we switched roles. She became my strength and I would ask her all of the time “am I going to survive this?” If I made it to work, I would walk in and sit at my desk and cry all morning. I wouldn’t speak to anyone unless they came to me, and we all know people love to talk to someone that is crying or dealing with grief. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time by myself while I was at work. At the end of the day I would hurry home and change out of my work clothes, grab a book about grief and try to understand what I was dealing with. I was trying to answer the one question that was on my mind “is this normal?” I had been stripped of everything. Most of this behavior occurred after the death of my second child. Because I didn’t deal with the first loss, my body was forcing me to process both losses at the same time. I was the strength for my wife after our first loss, but she had now become mine. Prior to both of my losses, I was a “get out of my way, take on the world” kind of guy. Nobody or nothing could stop me. Apparently I was wrong, because not only did this stop me, it brought me to my hands and knees, literally. Most people around me witnessed this strong personality crumble into a beaten down scared man.
Although grief is debilitating, it is also survivable. I sit here and write this almost 5 years later and I can tell you, it is survivable, but I know there are times when you don’t think you will. My strength is back in full force and I use it to reach out to others that have lost theirs. I do my best to offer my strength to the many people that are currently in the same place I was. There were many people that had strength that reached out to me and pulled me up; I feel it is now my turn to offer my hand to others on this journey.
Anyone else agree that this word is a great descriptor of grief?