the isolation of grief

deep grief is so very very isolating.  when you are in the throes of it, you cannot imagine that anyone else knows of your pain and to a certain extent that is true.  brain chemistry, timing, age, the nuances of the relationship- all of those factors make your pain experience unique.  at any given moment, you are the only one who knows how you are feeling.  others can empathize and know a taste of what you are going through, but you are the only one who feels it.  this can result in an isolation, a feeling of being cut off from society.  there are certain triggers for me, families of three, newborn babies, any married couple, these symbols are like javelins through my heart... cutting open my wounds.  a voice whispering in my ear "that was supposed to be your story, they have stolen it"  these are lies of course, as no ones joy or pain has any direct impact on my own joy or pain.  as far as i know there is no capped level of happiness that everyone is drawing from and so when the happiness runs out the rest of us are left with pain.  although it feels that way sometimes.

at the same time though, there is nothing unique about grief.  every single human relationship ends with pain (a grief observed, c.s. lewis).  this is a powerful thought.  was there any benefit to jim staying here longer or elly staying longer?  we all die, whether we first experience the pain of death or the pain of separation, no one is exempt.

my grandma passed away at 94 the week before elly was born.  it was, in it's own way, a blessing.  she was on hospice care and had taken a turn for the worst in the last couple months.  most of us, although mourning her loss in our lives, were in a way happy, relieved that she was put out of her suffering.  would i not want the same for my husband and daughter?  yet, i cannot bring myself to be happy or relieved.  there is a pride barrier for me, the understanding that i know what constitutes a good life here on earth and it means a long one surrounded by close family and friends.  as if to say, no one deserves heaven until you have suffered enough on earth.  our human logic is so simplistic, unable to explain the simplest of things, much less the complexity of human life.

the question seems to be, if what we are going to is greater, why stay?  of course there are the simplistic platitudes of beauty and life on this earth and there is the message of duty and service to the creator.  but it seems to me that our lives are one turmoil after another.  a washing cycle that never ends, that never results in refinement.

what is the purpose of pain?

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