As I sat through the Synagogue service last night (when I wasn’t running to the bathroom to blot my face and rehydrate) I realised that this was more than about Billy leaving. And I realized that grieving a loss is something that you revisit when another loss occurs. Billy isn’t my son, but my grief over his leaving has become exacerbated by my ongoing grief about losing Malcolm. So this is about Billy, but it is also about my other loss. Truth is, when my bunny rabbit “Pretty Girl” dies (she’s already 9 year sold) I will probably grieve excessively then, too.
Maybe it is the heart’s way of surviving a profound loss. It isn’t possible to feel all the grief associated with the loss of a child at one time, or in one season of grief, and so, when your life moves into a new season of grief because of a new loss of some kind, your heart gets in touch with some of your original pain and helps you release and process a little bit more.
Once I understood this I was less judgemental about my tears and more compassionate towards myself. I actually let myself cry and it was ok. I didn’t die and no one laughed at me, or got angry, or over-reacted as if I needed emotional triage: they just let me be and later just checked in with me and asked if I was ok. And… I was. Sad, damp, but basically ok.