March 1, 2011

The Healing Process

By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

As I learn more and more on the complex subject of grief, I start to think about my own healing, and if it's taking place, or when it will take place. Many things have happened since Joshua's death to keep my broken heart from mending. I blame no one for this. We must always remember that grief is a learning process.

For example, I just learned today that "jealousy" isn't really the right word to describe my feelings. I'm in a grieving period, therefore, it's not "jealousy" that I feel, but a "longing, and yearning" to have what so many other people experience on a daily basis: raising healthy babies. I wanted to make that clear, because as I tell a select few about my true feelings, I know it sounds awful that I would have such ugly thoughts, described usually as "jealousy". I'm learning now to identify when that emotion comes so that I can accept those feelings and try to move on with some type of normality. Example: If I see a little baby in the grocery store, I am not going to run out the door, but I will look at him and think, "That baby might be the same age as Joshua", then take a deep breath and get on with my shopping. This sounds oh so stupid and foolish to the "ungrieving", but to the grievers, you all know too well what I'm talking about.

I still have to be very cautious as to which activities and events I participate in. The other day, I was invited to a friend's house, and suspected that babies might be there. Sure enough, there were 2 little babies, probably the same exact age as Joshua. I didn't like the feelings I felt, and honestly, I wanted to leave. The pain was a little overwhelming, and was even affecting my social skills. However, I just knew it would be way too hard for me to succesfully sneak out. Therefore, I was forced to stay the entire time, fighting myself to look and sound normal, as if nothing was bothersome to me.

When I got home, I told Salesi about my situation and said, "I don't want to be in that type of setting again for a long time, or my very broken heart won't ever heal." As for now, I will pick and choose which events I wish to attend. It will be a very personal and private decision, with guidance from prayer and the Holy Ghost. So if you don't happen to see me somewhere, it might or might not be because of my grief!

I know I must come to a point of healing where I can function totally normal in most settings. I will never completely get over my loss. It just won't happen in this life, but to finally feel the healing happening will be a great day. Until then, I will rely on the Savior and know that He knows and understands what I'm going through.

Misconception of the ungrieving world: "If she's okay with it one day, she must be okay with it from now on". Just because somebody who has experienced a major loss seems okay with something one day, doesn't mean they will be okay with it from then on. A family of 5, including their little baby, brought us food right after Joshua died. This didn't bother me so much, even though deep down inside I thought it should. Then again, grief is very complex and comes and goes like waves of the sea.

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