That's what I titled my 2nd grief cd. Alas, that I stole the "Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat" part straight off of a song by the same title, which is, at least, on the cd.
I don't think I posted about the first grief cd I made for myself, but it has songs on it like Christina Aguilera's "Hurt", Bon Jovi's "Everybody's Broken", and "Believe" by The Bravery. It's depressing.
My newer cd is depressing in several ways, too, don't get me wrong...but it has a lot more faith-based music on it, which is comforting. Not to mention Cher singing "You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me", which is downright tenacious. It's also got Dido's "See The Sun", and The Beatles' "Let It Be", All-American Rejects' "Move Along", "I Dare You To Move" by Switchfoot, "All Of This" by Erin O'Donnell, Lifehouse's "Broken" and "Breathe", dc Talk's "Between You And Me", "Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat" by Carbon Leaf, and "He Lives In You" from Return To Pride Rock.
I am not now, nor do I really think I have ever been, religious. That's not the same thing - in my estimation, at least - as not being spiritual, or not having faith. I don't really care if I have a faith-based community surrounding me, which is just as well, seeing as I'd be hard pressed to find one that thinks like I do, anyway. The sense of being connected to something bigger, to everything around me, actually, is...I don't know...obvious, to me?
That doesn't mean I don't believe in Evolution, mind you. In my mind, science and faith don't fight each other, they are part of the same system. "God spoke" = "The Big Bang", I guess you could say. We'll call that analogy a work-in-progress, as is my life. I live, I learn, I make changes to the way I view things and what I believe in.
When I was working out the plans for my wedding, my mom was originally upset that I wanted to get married outside. She asked, was I sure I didn't want to get married in a church? She had always felt a stronger connection to God when she was in a church. I replied, quite straight-forward, that it was great that church worked for her, but I had always - all my life - felt a much stronger connection to God when I was outside, in the world God created. That had been enough to put an end to something that could have been a stupid argument.
Buildings are stone, wrought from the Earth, but in comparison to the grass, and trees, and flora, they are little more than lifeless. A building is, I suppose, what you make of it. Christianity has made the church to be the house of God; I think God's house is anywhere and everywhere. It's wherever you need it to be if you need to talk.
I used to talk to God with greater frequency. I'd monologue, and just get everything off my chest. I don't exactly do much of that anymore. As I've gotten older, I've kind of come to the conclusion that God likely has more important things to take care of than whatever my petty problems are. I'm aware that in comparison to what is going on in the world, my problems are small. I can handle them...even if I wish I didn't have to. It's part of growing up, of being an adult (and Highones, how I hate it). That doesn't mean I never talk. That doesn't mean I don't think I'd be listened to, if I did so more often. I just feel that if it's a burden I can deal with on my own, then there's little need to ask anyone else to interfere, deities included.
I like going to Grief Group. I like having other people that I can talk to, listen to, use as a sounding board for my grief. There are days when it's hard not to let it swallow me whole. It's difficult, and it's dark, and it frelling hurts - just to breathe - and I hate it. I find myself more irritated with customers more easily, and I have to work more to hide it than I used to. Sometimes smiling is a real stretch. I feel more cut-off and disconnected, like I'm somewhere that's hard for others to reach. It's exhausting. My body hurts, my mind races, or shuts down, I'm tired more often than not, and in a way that sleeping doesn't help with, my muscles get sore enough that I don't want to move. Gloomy days with grey skies are the worst, because convincing myself to move in the morning is problematic enough without the lack of light.
Grieving is a freaking full-time job that pays nothing and the benefits are shit - at least in the short-term. It takes up too much time, and energy, and concentration...and I don't like knowing that I'll never be the person I was before ever again when it's "done". Grief is not something that a person gets over. It is something that a person works through. It is a lifelong process. And doesn't that just suck.
I'm naturally cheerful, optimistic, I look at what's good rather than what's bad, and that hasn't exactly changed. I've never really known how to be "not happy", so I'm not very good at it. It's always been easier - to me, at least - to wear a smile and be in a good mood. It's probably what's kept me young. I'm looking forward to when the wounds are healed enough to enjoy more light-hearted days than heavy-hearted ones...but right now, I'm not sure if the majority of my "good" days are a bit more of me pretending I'm okay, or ignoring what's wrong than they are genuinely "good". After all, I work at a full-time job, and I can't be "not okay" at work all day, every day. Falling apart on the job is not usually considered acceptable.
I think I might need a little more time to myself. Perhaps closeting myself away in my bedroom would not be such a bad idea, after all. It's been 8 months. So close to a year. I don't even know where the time went. What did I do in that time? How much have I actually healed? Where have I been? Am I any better? Some days, yes, some days, no. The fluctuation really gets to me, especially if I've had a run of better days, and then I get smacked with a really bad one. The holidays were hard. Not the days themselves, actually, but the days after. Apparently, feeling guilty for having a good time after having lost a loved one is a fairly normal thing people go through. I have yet to have felt guilt over such a thing. I just have days where the loss is more obvious and I miss my mom more, and days were the loss is less (and I still miss my mom).
I miss my mom.