The Lethargy of Grief


What I notice most about missing my son is how much energy it seems to take.

I have a lot of work to do on the house. I’d like to get a couple chapters further on my novel, or work an extra shift to pay more college expenses, or go out with friends. But I don’t, because I’m so tired.

I’m not a stranger to grief. As a hospice nurse, I spend my work day with grieving people. I’ve been through it before when my marriages ended and when my father died. And still, it kind of surprises me that I can’t just will myself to get up off the couch and DO something.

I tell my hospice families that there is no easy way through grief, but there are less difficult ways.

For me, that means feeling what I feel. Not distracting myself from the discomfort.

My son came by last night with a friend to gets some of his stuff. He looks healthy and excited about the new adventure he is on.

I will be okay. Maybe after this next nap.


12 responses to “The Lethargy of Grief

  1. I send a hug Fawn!

  2. Hang in there Fawn. I have experienced similar loss with a punctuated note that included “you are poison to my soul!” It will get better. The cliche that worked for me is “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

  3. When you get down and discouraged, read your comments after your “Empty Nest” blog. OMG sounds to me like your blogs help a lot of people. So wonderful!

  4. Don’t feel you have to do anything. I gave up my to-do list when my parents’ health worsened and now require more of my time. I set my priorities as my work first (no other income) and my parents second — everything else can wait. I find that meditating and doing yoga daily helps quite a bit as well as massages as often as I can afford.

    • Your advice so wise! I also believe in meditation and yoga. I find them very helpful and yet, I notice that whenever I find myself in a difficult or stressful situation it is the first thing I stop doing. So stupid of me! Your comment reminded me of their importance, thank you!

  5. Transitions are tough. Losing a cherished identity is tougher. And perhaps being a single mom was so demanding that you never had time to be tired until now. I recommend naps, massage, and other healthy self-indulgences. You have earned them. And remember that shepherding three kids to independent adulthood was what you set out to do. Grieve missing them, but give yourself credit for both effort and achievement

  6. Dear Fawn,
    I just want you to know that your blog has helped me sooo much! I especially love the 100 Things post because it motivates me to just focus on the essentials to make room for things that TRULY count. I hope (and only if you feel if it’s right for you) that you continue writing. If you need to take a break away – do it – we will always be here to support you. One idea I would like to suggest is if you would be open to take other ppl to write on your blog – kind of like ‘guest post’ like Miss Minimalist? It may give you time to just break away from writing while at the same time have others like me step in for you and write . Let me know what you think and if you do plan on letting others guest post – I would like to be the first to volunteer ! Much love to you from Chicago !
    p.s. are we still doing a Minimalist Get Away ? if so how about this summer in Chicago ?

  7. I love your blog, don’t give it up. I believe son #3 knows you are a safe harbor, and that gave him the security to move out and not follow the path of older siblings. He doesn’t fit their mold and needs to go his own way. you have given him gifts– confidence, independence, security. have faith, Faith!

  8. Blessed be…

  9. Fawn,
    The fact that you are so self-aware amazes me.
    Be gentle with yourself. If you have a lot of big tasks, break them down into the tiniest morsels.
    Good for you for allowing to feel the pain, and not distract yourself with food, junk tv, or alcohol.
    Sending you my love,

  10. It must be such a good feeling to see your son healthy and excited! Isn’t the most important after all? To keep the life spirit alive? Maybe there will be more mistake made than if he would have stayed at home longer. But does it realy matter? He will learn more and live more intensively. I honnestly believe you should be very proud of him!
    I don’ feel that I am myself familiar with grief, maybe because I have experienced it so early in life that it has become a part of myself – I don’t know, but I find very inspiring what you say about not numbing your pain and allowing your feelings to just be there. I will try to think about it in my own life.
    About yout tiredness – maybe your role in this phase of your life is not to do anything but just relax and make sure to give these feelings the space they need and trust life to do the rest? It seems that you have worked so hard for so many years and you have been so brave, helping so many people, maybe your tiredness is just a sign that this time around you are not expected to do anything but just allow life to do its work to lead you through this transition?
    I believe that every child has his own path and that our task is merely to serve as a guide when possible. It might also be that parenting is not only the parent teaching the child but that our children have as much to teach us. Maybe they know intuitively exactly which button to push to pull us out of our comfort zone and make us evolve as a human beings, that parents and children grow together hand in hand. I am not sure it is true for older children but I am quite convince it is true for infants and toddlers and whenever I try to think in those terms, it makes my life much easier and interesting. It relieves me with the burden of thinking that my children’s behavior is the results of my actions.

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