Saturday, February 07, 2015

Seasons of Grief

It's amazing how cyclical life is, and how trenchantly we become ourselves.


It's been ten years since my grandfather died. We had been very close and his passing away was the first time in my life that somebody I loved had died. It made me realize how permanent death is. I also realize now that while we recognize a loved one by their physical features, it is the soul that we actually love. Washing his body for the burial, I felt like I was touching a stranger.


A few weeks ago, a man brought his child in to the clinic for me to see. He was a quiet little boy, nervous about being at the doctor's but also quick to smile. His father told me he was depressed. For the past several months he had been sad and crying easily. He would get irritable with his friends, or yell at his mother. The parents were distraught by this because he was usually such a delightful child. They told me all this had started shortly after his grandfather had passed away. They were buddies.

At the mention of his grandfather, the boy seemed to withdraw into himself. When I asked him what was making him sad, he said he missed his grandfather. The simplicity of the statement struck me. His grief was so obvious and clear to him. He was crying as he talked about his grandfather. I could feel the pain throb inside him. 

I told him about my grandfather, that he had died ten years ago and that I still missed him. He and my grandmother had loved me with an extravagance I didn't realize until they were gone. Although it's been many years, I still feel their presence with me, in the way I do things, the choices I make. I told the child that it was ok to feel sad but also that I wanted him to meet with a grief counselor. Sometimes we don't understand the ways in which we are sad until we actually talk about it. Looking up at his father, I saw that his eyes too were moist. We set up appointments with a therapist. I told Dad that I would be happy to help the child get better. 


Blogger Rosh said...

this post is painful and beautiful at once. the themes here have been on my mind a lot these last few months and this post really touched me. thanks for sharing.

7:57 PM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

Glad you enjoyed reading, Rosh.

3:54 PM  

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