Thursday, February 26, 2009

Trying to figure out how grief works -- honestly

I haven't been completely honest with you this week, and I feel guilty about that.

I wrote the blog about my mom's birthday on the night before her birthday. At the time, I felt optimistic that this birthday would be easier than past ones. After all, this would be the 6th year my family has been through this. And I strongly believe that time heals.

But sometimes that's all just bull. The day comes, and it's as sad as it ever was. Dad and Jordan both get stubborn and argue with each other. I play referee and ask them to be flexible, to get along, to stop fighting. We can't agree on anything: the time to meet, whether our dog Sadie should come or not, what restaurant to eat at afterward. We drive around aimlessly and end up at a diner none of us want to be at. But really, none of us want to be anywhere on this day. As my dad says, "It's not a good day."

I don't want to tell you these things because I want to believe -- and I want you to believe -- that it gets easier with time. Part of that is true. But I also think we need to accept that some days just suck. And often times those days are birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. They're just hard. Even 6 years later, I have trouble admitting that because I just wish I felt better about it.

Grief has a time delay sometimes, too. I got in a big fight with Mark on Tuesday and bawled my eyes out. How much of that was leftover stress from Mom's birthday? It's really hard to tell where one emotion ends and one emotion begins.

I'm sorry if this isn't the sunshine picture I usually paint. But I believe in being honest with you. I hope you'll be honest with me, too.

Big shout out to my girl Ashley who started a blog about surviving from a rare form of liver cancer. She's so brave in so many ways! Go give her some comment love.


  1. Marisa,

    I am gonna get you girl!

    People dont make me cry.
    Nor do I cry often,
    but I am here to tell you.
    You got me!

    Minding my own business
    reading your new blog
    entry for today,
    as I often do because
    I am hooked!

    Deep into relating myself
    in my own little world
    of the things you
    still deal with.

    Because I have been there!

    You caught me so off gaurd!

    Thanks for being you.
    I love how honest you are.

    Thank you,

  2. Hi Marisa--
    Just sending you a hug after such a hard couple of days. It sounds good that you have a routine to help deal with a difficult day. I hope my family can establish something similar this June on my Dad's birthday. Traditions and routines are so important; they give me a sense of stability, even when I'm feeling out of control.

  3. Marisa -

    I feel better reading this blog entry. It is more relatable to how I feel and how my family interacts.

    I think the sunshine only comes once you get past the day, past the anticipation of the day.

    Thanks for sharing!


  4. Crap.

    Sunday. Bah.

    Tuesday. Bah.

    I'm sorry.

    You don't have to be the sunshine trooper all the time. I know you want to be and it's easier to be the shiny one than the stormy one most times for someone with your personality. But, you don't have to be shiny all the time. I'm sorry you felt craptastic, but I'm glad you're letting yourself have a shitty week. Grief blows. Big time. It doesn't make you any less shiny the rest of the time.

  5. Oh, and if you want me to kick Mark's behind just say the word. I can totally take him.

  6. Hi Missy,
    I've been thinking about you a lot lately (I hope you got my message) especially this week. Of course I miss your mom so much, and it is always there but uncannily more intense during these special annuversary times. You are a beautiful young woman of whom your mom would be so proud! I'm so proud for her and for me too! Your honesty is so painful, but I know also therapeutic and healing. Sending you all my love and kisses. Cousin Max