A GRIEVING MUM'S LEARNED LESSON: THE OSCILLATION OF GRIEF

25 January 2018

An oscillation is a repeated motion about a fixed point. The fixed point known as the equilibrium position, is where the oscillating object returns to once the oscillation stops. (Source: Breithaupt Pages)
Words don't come easy when I try to explain what do I mean when I say "The Oscillation of Grief", so I decided to draw it instead.
The Oscillation of Grief, illustrated by me.
 That's me. My fixed point is grief, it's permanent, a lifetime. Going through life is when the oscillation begins and as I've mentioned, the fixed point is grief and I swing through all the emotions as normal healthy as I can with the people around me.

Grieving is usually paired with sadness, depression, longing, despair, etc. It's the common expectation from the bereaved. Yes, we are sad. Yes, we are lonely. Yes, we are angry. Another common expectation is that, there's a timeline until when one should grieve. I often get told to grieve as long as I want, however,  I must stop one day so I can enjoy life again, move forward and be happy.

What the non-grieving eyes can't see is that I (emphasis on "grieving mum") can be truly happy and  grieving at the same time or be grateful and still be grieving.  You can be one (happy) or the other (sad) or both. My joyful and peaceful days are not a sign of finally getting healed from my broken heart. It's far from it. The good days are just an indication that my life is not (totally) devoid of any good feels contrary to the idea that because I am grieving then I must be sad all the freaking time.

Sometimes when peaceful days are abundant and then a huge wave of sadness hit and cripples the bereaved, the eye-rolls (judgements) are imminent. Why can't she just move one? Why can't she just find joy in what she has?. Why does she keep on going back to square one?

It's almost an impossible task to just move on and enjoy what is, but it doesn't mean I am (we are) ungrateful. You can't control your feelings (fact). You can hide and ignore them but they will always find its way out just like fart. The heart will feel what it needs to feel. We shouldn't stop it. If it dictates sadness then sadness it should be. If it craves peace then give it peace. It is ok to be upset. It is ok to be sad. It is ok to be happy. It is ok to say no. It is ok to cry. It is ok to feel emotions.

It is OK to go through all the motions of the oscillation, both good and bad.

The oscillation of grief, when in motion, is the new (healthy) state of life of the bereaved. However, when stationary, the grief had only begun. It can stay motionless for as long as needed for the bearings to be right before any form of movement can commence. Seeking help can jumpstart the movement and often times it's the only effective way to start oscillation. The mind is robbed of reason when you lose someone and yet it screams why to understand the loss, that's when grief motion feels stationary.

The motions will change us as a person. It's changing me. For instance, I no longer engage with bullshit when I see it. I simply change direction, run away from it. The change usually filters the people in your circle, some leave, some stay and some don't care. The ones who stay are my truest of friends whom I adore and love with all my heart.

The illustration above should be a good guide for those who have grieving loved ones. Expect us to disconnect and reconnect to save our energy, that's just the truth and we can only ask for patience, understanding and unconditional love.

A continuous oscillation is deemed healthy and that's what I thrive for these days. I acknowledge every emotions and stay authentic as I can to these feelings and try to never apologise for having them. When I am sad, I am sad. When I am happy, I am truly happy. When I am angry, I am fuming. When I pick a fight, it's not the fight that matters, it's what I do to makeup after the fight has the most significance.

A healthy oscillation of grief requires kindness to oneself. It requires acceptance that we are not perfect beings. It requires self-love.

Disclaimer: This is written by me and thoughts and descriptions are drawn from my personal experience. Note that people grieve in different ways and this is how I am going through mine.