As Father’s Day approaches, I thought of writing a few blogs to honor my father’s memory, but then, I decided to write those another day. Today, I want to share my journey through the grieving process of losing one of my closest cousins. I always figure, we are never the only someones going through something and maybe my story will help someone else.
My cousin, Jeannie and I are the children of two brothers. We were born 3 months apart, to the very day. When I got the news that she had passed suddenly, I literally felt her when she left me. I can only describe it as feeling as if I’d lost my twin.
If someone were to ask me to describe my grief, I’d say it feels like a heavy blanket. When the blanket first covered me, I felt as though I may suffocate. As time has progressed, I’ve found a corner of the blanket that I can lift to breathe and see the sunlight. Although it’s been a few months, I know it’s going to take a long time for me to get to a place where the pain of losing, Jeannie becomes a dull ache. You see, every now and again, I lose my grip on the blanket and again it covers me.
I am fortunate in that I have a strong faith and belief in God; He is my Higher Power and sustains me in my lowest times. I am also fortunate to have a strong support system of family and a few good friends. There are some however, who are struggling through a grieving process alone. Perhaps they’ve reached out but no one is there.
They’ve made phone call after phone call and no one picks up. They leave messages and no one returns their calls; for whatever reason. These are the people who end up in a state of disrepair. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve made my share of calls and couldn’t reach a soul. But it’s at those times, I dig deep and rely on my faith. In this case, as in any, I know to pray first and then call someone who loved Jeannie like I did.
I remember when she first died, I was speaking with a man who called himself a friend of mine. He asked me how I was coming along; now mind you, we had just buried Jeannie two days prior to this phone call. When I told him I was struggling, he responded I should be happy that Jeannie was at peace. I went on to say, I didn’t feel happy and I was having a rough time of it, he replied that I was going to have to figure out how to deal with her death on my own. I didn’t hear from him for five months after that.
You may be wondering by now, why am I’m sharing all of this with strangers. Well, as I mentioned earlier, we are never the only someones going through something in this journey called life. If, by sharing my pain and the fact that although the blanket covers me from time to time, I am able find that corner and pull it back, will encourage someone, than it’s well worth it to me.
In closing I’d like to say, perhaps there is someone you may know who is going through a challenge. Maybe this individual has reached out to you or maybe not. Either way, take a few minutes of time and check on them. You may be the someone who is going through; you feel all alone, you’ve reached out and no one reaches back. To you I will say, speak to your doctor, get yourself to a counselor, don’t just suffer alone.
I have fond memories of Jeannie and me and it’s those memories I will hold onto and cherish. It’s those memories that will once again help me to find that corner of the blanket of grief and pull it back. Allowing me to breathe and bask in the beautiful sunshine, just as I know she would want me to do.
Savannah J she adds a little sass to every page.