I survived the yard sale without any major kick from grief to my insides. I’m not sure whether to celebrate that fact or bemoan it. The absence of grief is in itself a grief.
I snapped a photo of my father’s fire engine red tool box at the feet of the buyer. I took other photos of the tables of dishes, including the plastic plates our family ate from year after year.
I didn’t feel the sharp ping that I’d felt during our 2012 yard sale, when things walked out of my driveway and out of my life – pieces of my parents I’d never regain.
In fact, it was around that time, three years after my mother’s death, that I experienced a grief over losing grief. I mourned the loss of the intensity of sorrow.
It still puzzles me why we do that.
I’ve read that others have experienced this grief for grief. Does it come from the idea that our sorrow affirms the fact that we loved deeply, and so if we aren’t as sorrowful we think we’ve let go of love?
We know better. We’ve not let go of love. We will never let go of our beloveds.
Instead of demanding an answer to why I experience this loss for sorrow, I’ve accepted it as a part of the process. And I’ve reminded myself it isn’t a verdict on how much I loved my parents. (How we talk to ourselves is an important part of healing after a loss.)
No matter how much I grow away from the person I used to be, I know I’ll carry pieces of my parents inside my soul and into the life of the person I will be. That is something to celebrate, not grieve.
Have you experienced grief for grief? How do you explain this state or phase of grief? What self-talk do you use to get you through this experience?
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