My Landslide of Grief

There are times when you suffer many losses during a short amount of time. Usually the losses are similar to the ones listed. Not often do you experience the death of significant people in a short amount of time. It does happen, but not often.

It is a series like this that people will state that they “haven’t recovered” from all those close deaths. You could meet someone ten years later and they will still mention this series of deaths that they were unable to get through. You realize that the pain is still causing them emotional distress. This mountain of grief is difficult to manage for any person. Ideally, they could process the loss of one person at a time until they have resolved a major portion of their overall grief. Most people won’t do this. They will continue to look at the entire group of losses and remain unable to recover emotionally.

We have stated many times that no event is intended to undo you. Each event is a lesson. You needed to learn a variety of things from one loss and then be prepared for any future losses. The culmination was meant to be lessons learned not a pile of grief added to the current pile.

I have experienced a lot of grief in the past three months. My family had to euthanize a guinea pig after struggling to heal him from a tumor removal. We made the decision to end his suffering but our grief was monumental. He was very much a part of the family.

Then I lost a dear aunt after a short illness. It was expected but still painful. We lost her sister only 1 year ago. So this is a good example of layering. Recently, our hamster died. We struggled to care for him but we could not save him from illness.

We have lost several community members in close procession. People I knew and people I knew of. Many younger than you would expect. We had one mother lose three sons within a year. One in his late 30’s from a medical problem, one in his late 20’s from an overdose and the most recent one in his early 30’s of an overdose.

Then, of those community members, I lost a male cousin who was only 55 to a massive heart attack. He was only 2 years older than me and this was completely unexpected. His brother is currently in the late stages of lung cancer and will die soon at the age of 53. So that will be two deaths in one family within a month. Both far too young.

We have lost nearly 10 people in our small reservation community in the past 3 months.  With 2 more quickly approaching death.

I’m at a loss for words. I haven’t posted for a while because of this mind-numbing trend. Perhaps I don’t yet embrace the lessons that were intended. Maybe I am not listening. Perhaps I don’t have an open-mind.

I work with many people who have lost someone. It is almost too numerous to mention. But what is our lesson? What do we need to learn as a community?

Two died of overdoses so this obviously speaks to drug awareness, prevention and intervention. Many died from complications of Diabetes. This is something that any native community deals with. The people who died of heart disease may also be attributed to Diabetes. Then two people died of cirrhosis. With lifelong alcohol abuse, their bodies shut down and they succumbed. We also have a higher rate of alcoholism so complications are common in our community.

No one remembers a time when we have suffered so many losses this close together. When I ask spirit, “why?” I get one word, “renewal.”  If you lived here, knew the members of this community and suffered this many losses close together, what does renewal mean? No one has found the answer, including me.

I will keep searching. My impression is that I don’t have enough distance from the pain yet. With some amount of healing I will listen and learn what renewal means and how this happens in my own community. I will hear more words from spirit and will resist shutting down in exasperation. I will find some solace and allow my heart to heal.

This is why I am here. I am a messenger but for now I don’t really know what the message is.

I have faith. I understand there are intended lessons. I understand that we are meant to be brought close together without any boundaries between us. We have all been touched by drug, alcohol, medical and accidental deaths. Some losses were expected and others were not. Sometimes death does not just touch the elderly.

There are times when a loss happens and you have time to find your faith and get through it. There are other times when losses happen so close together that coping simply means getting through one day at a time.

We will find out what renewal means and we will do it together. You may be able to place your finger on the truth now while I am still simply trying to manage. The messenger has some learning to do.

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