March 9, 2011

Stage One.

I feel like I should just "suck it up" or "keep a stiff upper lip" but I am a mess. And I should respect my own grieving process. My uncle died February 26th and I didn't realize that it was having such a big effect on me. I was trying to be there for my dad. His rock. His shoulder....

Little things are slipping through the cracks. Details are being lost.... How many stages of grief are there?

My first memory of my Uncle Harvey was when I was four. It was night time and I remember the adults voices were a bit stressed. The area of Santa Monica we were visiting was a bit darker than even the hour of day would suggest. Mom, Dad and I climbed a rickety stairwell and knocked on the weather worn door. A bare bulb hung from the ceiling, a bare mattress on the floor greeted our eyes. He had a wild look about him. It made me a bit uncomfortable. There seemed to be relief in the voices around me as I played with the miniature wooden orange crate, given to occupy my little hands. I can still remember how it felt hearing my family worry about uncle, when he took off to wander the world and changed his name to Lance. Why can't I change my name? I would hear stories about how sharp his wit, how clever his poems were when he was a teen. It wasn't until I was a bit older that I could kind of understand about his schizophrenia. At 9, for no apparent reason he gave me $40. A kingly sum for my age that I'm sure he needed, which had the house hold in an uproar. "WHY are you giving her THAT MUCH money?!?!"

I remember his response: "I've never given her a birthday present."

It wasn't my birthday.

His jokes were funny because they made no sense. I think he knew that.

The price paid for a coherent conversation with him was the jitters brought on by his medication.

Throughout the years he would show up unexpectedly. We'd have a sandwich. A couple of bucks would be given, and then we wouldn't see him for a while. The worry faded over the years but never went away.

He had a great laugh. I miss him.

15 comments:

gbkoru said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

somethingunique said...

Hello Gaea,no need to "suck it up" or "keep a stiff upper lip" i would like to think we are all your friends even though i am a new friend we are hear for u to share your in your laughter,sorrow or pain when u need a shoulder to cry on or a funny joke to share,to show off you beautiful creations whatever it may be thats what friends are for.Thank-You for sharing Uncle Harvey with us and keep his laughter close to your heart. <3

Deb said...

It takes as long as it takes, remember him in your heart and don't be afraid to talk about your feelings x

My Life Under the Bus said...

Oh I agree no need to "suck it up" we all are going through something. I am so sorry you are sad. Your sweet lttle beads have been very lucky for me and brightened my day! Big Hugs!Patty

Emerald Window said...

Most people see mental illness patients as "damaged". Are they damaged, or are they just differant?
Your uncle sounded like a fabulous guy.
Cenya

Alice said...

Sweetie, there is no 'one size fits all' grieving process, no prescribed stages of grief, no 'expiration date' to our sadness. We all work through it in different ways, and there is no wrong way.

Keep those wonderful memories that you just shared with us close to your heart. Remember both the good and bad times. Let yourself have days of sadness. Let others console you, but also be there for your dad.

I guess what I'm saying is to just let it happen, don't try to force your feelings one way or other.

eve said...

Sorry to hear of your sad loss, I love reading your blog, you always tell your story and your news in great words and always remember the finest things in live, I loved your last blog entry, i wish i had been there also sounds magical,x

EmandaJ said...

Oh,Gaea, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm still grieving three losses late in the last year. The words of comfort I can share with you are: "in death, life is changed not ended". Our loved ones are gone, but they will live on in our hearts and memories.

{({(HUGS)})}
Emanda

SummersStudio said...

Ahhh, Gaea, I am very sorry to hear of your loss. It's good to acknowledge your feelings as grief, to give them a name. I have no recollection of how many stages there are to grief but naming your feeling as grief has got to be the road to healing. Many blessings and hugs.

Janet said...

Me too here! Im so sorry.
How we miss them when they go!
I miss my Aunts and Uncles...sigh.
Tho it never seems like theyre really gone. Cry those pretty tears
because you need to..be you and cry.
huggs across the miles xx

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry for your family's loss. It does take time to go through the grieving process. I lost my dad and my grandma within 3 weeks of each other almost 6 years ago. I would be going happily along and then BAM...it would hit me between the eyes. Take as much time as you need. Get lots of rest, remember your uncle and find joy and comfort in your memories (and the sharing of them).

{{hug}}
Michelle

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

So sorry for your loss Gaea… Things subside, then they come back - it's a constant in life… Keep memories of him close - maybe write down some stories you remember in a journal and how you are feeling. Then let your mind find peace because those things are there, not forgotten about… I guess it's a way I've coped with the loss of my mom in the last couple of years. The sharp pain dulls a bit, but never goes away - especially when they are a loved one. Hug your kids & dad a lot too - and let the tears flow if they need to.
Hugs from me to you...

Aleksandra Micić said...

Oh dear Gaea, so sorry for your loss. It is hard when you lose someone you love so much. I lost my father 8 yrs ago two months after I got married and was two months pregnant so tried to stay "sane" for the sake of my baby and burried my grief. Now I miss it.... because I miss my dad. Just yesterday I didn't know about something and thought to call him and ask what to do... the thought lasted a second and then I remembered... he's gone... it was a sad and strange moment... then I took photos of him and me when I was little and started showing my kids and talking about him all with love in my heart. Bad moments fade away and love stays forever in your heart to keep the memory of the loved ones. I also thought it might be a good idea to write down what I can remember because some memories fade away faster. If you ever need a shoulder I offer you mine any time. Hugs from my heart and cry as much as you can so the smile can shine through afterwards in full.
Love
Sandra

Gaea said...

Thank you for your support! It means the world to me!

My Life Under the Bus said...

Just stopped by to see how you were! XOXO