This post is a continuation of my generated 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 continuing this series of postings that will not only define these words, but expand on why I thought they would be good descriptors.
The seventh word I chose was:
Smothering: Defined as “a state of being stifled or surpressed”, “a dense fog”, “a confused multitude of things”
There are several meanings to the word ‘smothering’ that I think apply to grief. I felt “stifled and suppressed” for a long time after the death of my children. I felt like I lost hope and often times felt like my recovery was being stifled by the flashbacks, memories and reminders that grief kept throwing in front of me. Not sure if grief ‘suppressed’ my pain, but I think I certainly tried my best to suppress my emotions and pain. I thought by doing this I was being the man I was taught to be when I was a child. Real men don’t show emotions or talk about sad stuff, yeah right. I was fed this bullshit for most of my life so when it came time to really deal with this stuff, I didn’t have the tools to cope. I hear this “real man thing” from a lot of the grieving dads I have met, many feel shame for having normal and natural reactions to something not so normal, the death of a child.
The second definition “a dense fog” really hits home. I felt like I was in a dense fog for most of the time after the death of my children. I think it’s the brains/bodies way of protecting you from something so horrific. I don’t remember what I did at work most days and I would come home exhausted and just sit in my chair to keep myself calm. The night would fly by and I would find myself back at my desk not knowing how I spent the night before. I started to forget things as well. I always had a strong memory, but I would forget names, things that happened or just what I was doing or supposed to be doing at that time.
I think the last definition speaks for itself, “a confused multitude of things”. There are a lot of confusing things that happen to us after the death of a child and the aftermath that follows.
Do you agree that word “smothering” is a good descriptor of grief?
Can you relate with any of the things I described or care to expand on these definitions?