wings and things

Sorrow is not as scary as it seems

on July 8, 2012

Okay, in case it isn’t already obvious from recent posts on this blog, I am/we are experiencing sorrow due to my husband, Anthony’s physical and mental deterioration (courtesy of Parkinson’s disease). Ming, our son is also experiencing sorrow but from a sensible distance and that is fine and understandable.

So the bulk of this sorrow is mine alone – of course it is and I can’t, and don’t, expect anyone else to take it on because why should they? All of our friends and family have their own lives, their own joys and challenges and, sometimes, their own personal sorrows.

Even Anthony himself doesn’t feel the intensity of sorrow I feel and that is a good thing – a wonderful thing. And, as for me, this is my own deep sorrow that cannot be alleviated by invitations to dinner or movies or lunches or all of those suggestions from my beautiful friends, because this sorrow is not self-indulgent – it is a simple reality and it is inescapable. It doesn’t plunge me into a pit of despair; it just is and it somehow stills my soul.

This kind of sorrow doesn’t want or need cheering up; it doesn’t need distraction; it needs to be felt in its entirety, to be embraced and acknowledged and never avoided. It sits on my shoulder like a half tame bird who might fly off at any time – unpredictable.

Sorrow needs to be faced without fear and, strangely perhaps, it also needs to be embraced, accepted, absorbed and, for me, this is (despite the openness of this blog), deeply personal. I need to do this sorrow thing by myself. So for my beautiful neighbour-friends who care enough to want to rescue me from this sorrow, please let me be for awhile – let me figure it out by myself because I know that I can and will.

I am no longer afraid of sorrow.

52 responses to “Sorrow is not as scary as it seems

  1. Helen says:

    You express this so well Julie. Some times there are things you just have to do your self and there are no kind words or actions that will help. It takes time, no set time to work your way through all these thoughts and feelings.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Hi Helen, did you get people trying to interfere with your sorrow? That is what I am finding difficult at the moment. Love Julie

      • Helen says:

        Yes I did. Some people trying to tell me how I should feel and when. I found people all of a sudden felt they had the right to tell me how I should be doing all the other things in my life. I found I had to be really firm and think about myself and the girls first, however well meaning all this advise was. What made it hard was these are nice people i’m talking about. Then came the comments, ‘Helen’s changing’ or ‘Helen’s grumpy, that’s not like her’. I felt like swearing at them saying, ‘My whole ******* life has fallen apart, but I’m a grown up, I will get through this but I will do it my way even if it does not make sense to any one else.’
        The ones that truly love and care for you will still be there later even if they are hurt inadvertently. Mine were.
        You will get through it because of the person you are!

      • jmgoyder says:

        Oh Helen – thanks. I have inadvertently annoyed various friends and family over the last year or so by my unreliability, mainly because I can’t rely on myself to be okay enough emotionally to meet up. Then I get the guilts for letting people down who are trying to hold me up – ironic. I can see from your words here that you know what I mean and you would have had the same sorts of experiences after Brad died. Obviously it’s different for me because Anthony hasn’t died. I think that I am supposed to feel free now to go out and have fun and stuff because I am no longer caring for him physically, but … oh, dunno what I’m saying here – sorry – will email you! Love Julie

  2. niasunset says:

    You are so nice dear Julie… It is not easy what you are doing… Blessing you dear. Thanks and Love, nia

  3. meg lane says:

    You have already begun to acknowledge the difference between resignation and acceptance, something that took five years to evolve in my life after your dad died. Well done, dearest Daughter, as you journey from one to the other, however long it takes / M.L.

  4. victoriaaphotography says:

    Well said, Julie.

    Personally, I agree with you.

    (I don’t like people who say “don’t worry” “you’ll be right, mate” “have a drink and a laugh and you’ll forget all about it” “try not to think about it, dear” ……..and so on).

    It’s better to acknowledge the reality, accept that that is the way it is and live with it. It’s better to talk about it (in my opinion).

    There’s a fine line between jollying you up and listening to you with sensitivity and compassion. There’s a fine line between ignoring your reality and sharing your reality.

    Well………… I’m sure you know what I mean.


  5. You’re so right. It’s something each person has to work through and it all takes time.

  6. so wise – it is true – sorrow needs to be felt and tasted, embraced and acknowledged – I admire you for not running away and facing it – I think this is the only way to handle it – to not mourn your loss is to not respect what it was

  7. Your honesty inspires me! I love it.

    • jmgoyder says:

      I want to run far far away sometimes but this arvo realized I have to run into this turbulence, not away – thanks again Diana – Juliex

  8. terry1954 says:

    this is so beautifully said Julie. you have made the point clear in a kind manner

  9. Robyn Lee says:

    Again – you share your heart so beautifully Julie. It is true what you say, nobody can join you in this place you are are occupying now. It is a personal and lonely sorrow… it is unique to you and no matter how much others try, it’s a place you need to embrace and face in your own private way. It sounds like you are doing this with grace and wisdom…. and all I can offer is the message that I do understand this, and stand by you in support as you forge forward and find the reserves to cope and care for Self through it all. I’m inspired by you and your words, and know that through all of this, you are gifting others with the parts of your soul you do opt to share in the midst of your personal storm. ~xo Robyn

    • jmgoyder says:

      It’s good to know that you know what I mean – with all you are going through and have gone through and will go through, you continue to be an inspiration to so many people, Robyn – Juliexx

  10. It’s good to be honest with yourself and acknowledge your feelings, rather than keep them bundled inside your guts. I still recommend you read Tuesdays With Morrie, I really think you’d connect with the main characters (did I mention it was a true story?).

  11. dogdaz says:

    Julie – You say things so ‘right.’ People that care may not understand that sorrow and even pain sometimes are important parts of living and healing. Just remember that you are not alone and that, if you need them, people will be there for you. – Lorian of DogDaz

    • jmgoyder says:

      Hi Lorian and thanks for your wisdom here. I think sometimes the beautiful friends and family that surround me in real life want to take the sorrow away but they can’t and I want to relieve them of this pressure to try to do so if that makes sense! Juliex

  12. Louise sent us over here with her special words about you and as usual she was right for us to visit. Your story about Joe and then what you’re going through with Anthony are well told and full of both sadness and hope at the same time. I wrote about synchronicity today and it seems that it is everywhere in life.
    You sound like a remarkable person facing some of the bigger challenges in life. Thank you for sharing your words – it kind of puts things into perspective for those of us not facing those dramas.
    We have chooks as well – in suburbia and they can be extremely entertaining and fun. I used to have one that would come and sit in my lap every time I sat on the back verandah.
    Stay strong and keep on writing it out – I find sometimes it’s the best way to work through our challenges, writing it down and geting it out of your head.

    Cheers, Fi

  13. I think I know what you mean. I do hope your sorrow is lifted in time.

  14. For some reason WordPress won’t let me like your posts anymore but I wanted to encourage you to take your time as you walk through this.
    My brother in law died last year. He had suffered with Parkinson’s from the age of 34. He was an incredibly brave man who visited us in Australia from the UK even when he was in a wheelchair and very disabled.
    My older brother is now suffering from Vascular Dementia due to a stroke and he is only just 60. There but not there and it happened before we knew it, before we could say goodbye.
    In our busy world we often rush past important moments. We need to take the time to savour the happy moments and the sad. To understand that both are a part of life and I believe it is healthy to take the time to feel and not run away from that.

    • jmgoyder says:

      What a wonderful comment (it was in my spam so lucky I noticed and retrieved it!) I am so sorry to hear about your own tragic losses and I didn’t even know you could get Parkinson’s from such a young age. And now your brother – how terrible but it sounds like you have developed a wise approach and I appreciate the brilliance of what you say in your last paragraph. Many many thanks…

  15. There is a time to laugh and a time to cry. It is good that you know this is your time to cry. It won’t last forever, but it will be awful. You don’t have to do it alone.

  16. Fergiemoto says:

    Through my own trying experiences, I have learned, and am still learning, the importance of allowing your emotions to happen and feeling them. I agree with you! Well said.

  17. dodsy says:

    its a truth, and you have to live it,
    everyones journey isnt everyones journey!
    thats your freedom…
    we have so few..

    but you can bring your sorrow arse round to mine anytime!!!!
    …or not!! whenever, whateverwhyeverhowever…..

  18. bluebee says:

    I agree, Julie “This kind of sorrow doesn’t want or need cheering up; it doesn’t need distraction; it needs to be felt in its entirety, to be embraced and acknowledged and never avoided.” – that is a truth that you are clearly strong enough to face – I believe that it’s healthier that way (my BFF disagrees) and has fewer long-term adverse consequences.

  19. I learn so much from you. Simply put: acceptance is a great thing.

  20. sbcallahan says:

    i was sent something quite beautiful and thought of you. my email is if there is a way for me to send it to you I think you would really enjoy it.

  21. sbcallahan says:

    previous remark ended on wrong page, sorry(not the wrong blog). we would all benefit from embracing our selves and those emotions we come with. you are doing an admirable job dear lady!

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