My Twisted Writer Brain…

Is There a Right Way to Grieve?

Time giveth and time taketh away…

First and foremost, I want to thank you all for your heartfelt condolences. Losing a loved one is always difficult, but pair it with the Christmas season and it somehow becomes ten fold.

Christmas ’22, hubby and I gifted each other a January cruise. Very whimsical. A celebration of the hard work done throughout the year… Definitely a first for us as we scoured the pix online and then made what seemed like a split-second decision, we pushed enter!

That was us taking advantage of a cyber Monday deal. Boom. It was done.

Little did either of us know how much things would change between then, and the departure date.

Maureen, my sister, died suddenly on December 18. It was totally unexpected and we were all left in complete shock.

After long discussions, we decided to continue with our travel plans for January.

Some may have decided to cancel, and that’s okay. We choose to forage ahead. I felt the need to get away. Indulge in some introspection and write my little broken heart out.

Remember what they say about the best laid plans… Just always keep that in mind.

I don’t know if you remember the nightmare of travel that happened over the ’22 Christmas period. The weather wreaked havoc on airports and cities–hundreds of flights cancelled, passengers stranded, and Christmas plans disrupted.

We were fortunate that we didn’t have to travel until Jan, but the weather was still foggy, cold, and general yucky. I looked forward to getting away and wanted smooth sailings–literally.

We made it to Florida (where we were to board our ship on January 2nd) in time for the New Year’s fireworks. Everything fell into place with no hassle.

The Cruise. What can I say? It was decadent and indulgent—there’s not much to dislike.

My head wasn’t in the game though. I recognized this relatively early on when I tucked in with a coffee and my computer, ready to write and couldn’t. Like seriously, my fingers didn’t want to touch the keyboard.

Distractions were everywhere and I kept thinking of my sister. I imagined her with mom and dad and two of my brothers who predeceased her. My little Heaven Family. But then I’d get sad and wonder what the hell I was doing on this ship…

There I was having a ‘wonderful’ time on this huge floating palace and all I could think was –should I be here? What will people say when they see pictures of me with a cocktail and all smiles. Is it disrespectful to my sister? my family?

Is there a time limit on grief?

So, do you judge people who don’t appear to grieve?

Do you ask yourself how others could move along so quickly in their lives?

In your opinion, what is suitable behaviour for someone who is grieving?

Yes, I actually asked myself those questions.

The brain and the thoughts it produces, are amazing.

Though we know that we all grieve in different ways, there’s no way to tell what’s going on with someone else unless they choose to share parts of themselves.

Chances are, that there were others on the ship who were also in similar circumstances. A reminder that we don’t know what others are going through and to react with compassion rather than anger is a better choice.

There’s nothing easy about losing anyone who you love.

And, there’s no right or wrong way to grieve.

Tears are not the only expression of sadness. Some people present as they always do and you’d never know they were going through any difficulties.

I’m now on the road with my husband. Travelling to warmer climes so he can enjoyed his retirement.

Me, finally writing again which is something that never leaves me. It always shows up, if only in my own twisted writer brain.

Tell me your thoughts. Good to be back.


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20 thoughts on “Is There a Right Way to Grieve?”

  1. I am so sorry for your loss, Faye. Sending you so much love and strength in this difficult time. Sounds like you did what you needed to do for your own healing journey in your grief, as you say everyone grieves differently. When my grandfather passed away in 2010 I came back from a 6 month exchange in Europe to attend the funeral but then made the decision to go back to Holland to finish up the exchange. May have seemed odd for some but it is what I needed!
    Sending hugs ❤

    1. Hi Erin. Giving hugs right back. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so glad you returned to Holland. Your Grandfather would have wanted that. I feel that way with my sister. She was not one to sit around and mope…she was a doer and would’ve wanted the same from us. It’s not easy. Doesn’t feel real, but we somehow reach the other side. Feels very good to be back and in the company of people like you. Thanks for all your kindness. xo

  2. Hi, Faye. Good to see that you’re back writing .
    Yes, everyone grieves in their own way and it’s nobody’s business how you do it. I’m sure your sister would want you to carry on with your travel plans.

    1. Hi Heather. Nice to ‘see’ you. You’re right of course, but that darn brain of ours can really mess with perspective. Hope you’re still writing. xo

  3. Again, so sorry about your sister. No, you were not wrong going on your cruise. She probably would have been mad with you if you’d canceled. Grief is a funny thing…it hits you when you least expect it, randomly, out of the blue. Hope you got to enjoy some bits of your cruise. Xx

    1. Thanks Ginny. Yes, we enjoyed the cruise. It just felt…foreign to me. There’s no other way that I can think to describe it. Nothing seemed quite right. I was zagging when everyone was zigging… if that makes any sense. But yes, my sister would not have wanted us to change plans. One day at a time. Hope all is well in your world. Thanks so much for stopping by. xo

  4. Unexpected losses are the very worse for sure, I lost one of my childhood friends to COVID recently at a very young age. I think everyone has to grieve in their own way, and just because it isn’t obvious to others doesn’t mean we are not grieving for our losses

  5. Faye, I’m so very sorry for your loss. There is no time limit on grieving. It’s an individual process. When my Dad passed, it took me about 10 years before I could look at his photo. I missed him every day, and still do! Now I can look at photos of Dad without tears. Dad passed in 2003!

    1. Hi Nancy. Thank you for sharing. It really is such a personal journey, isn’t it? Pictures and videos are a godsend. My Dad passed in ’97 and it’s amazing to watch a video and hear his voice. Thanks again for stopping by. It really means a lot.

  6. Hi Faye – we were talking about the “guilt” portion of grief that Is very common. My mom feels guilt for not being by her husband’s side at 4 am in a care home, I feel guilt for other reasons. I think it must be a part of the emotional mountain of grief .. but it is strange because something will happen that makes you think automatically of that person, and often enough that you finally realize they are around us all the time and it eases things. The grief meetings in Penticton have been very helpful to mom. I hope people out there don’t suffer alone.

    1. Thanks Maureen. Thanks for stopping by I agree, our thoughts bring them to us, don’t they? and we’re not alone in the thinking, the guilt, the grieif… Grief groups are amazing and can offer a lot of support and compassion. ((hugs)). Thank you. xo

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