The Gravel Road of Grieving

| 5/31/2012 11:03:00 AM

Tags: Inspiring trees growing in a silo, D. Susan Rutz,

A photo of D Susan RutzWhen you are grieving the loss of someone very special to you, it’s beyond hard. I recently lost my mother so I am familiar with the "Steps of Grieving" information bulletin. There are steps-levels-phases, however you want to describe it, there are steps in the grieving process, but the one they don’t tell you about is the Gravel Road of Grieving. I had to discover it on my own. 

You know, you never know what you might find at the end of that gravel road, but it sure is bumpy, and if you are driving a 4-wheeler, it’s a lot of fun. The gravel road I’m referring to is the one that surprises you at every turn.

I’m doing pretty well in my recovery process, but there are times when I have a bad day, where I don’t want to get out of bed. I avoid people on those days, I know I’m not functioning well and could at any time explode into sobs. It’s an embarrassing process to go through in public. Heart wrenching sobs, snot running down your face, and a burning pain in the heart. That’s private stuff that shouldn’t be shared with the average Joe. It really puts them on the spot. They don’t know what to do about it, and I’m in such a state I can’t explain what is happening. 

I walked into a McDonalds one morning for a breakfast sandwich. It was a glorious day, the sun was shinning, the temperature was
perfect, and I felt great. I had an interview for a job the day before and that went really well, I might actually be hired soon. It was just a great day and I was feeling perfectly fine. I was watching this young mother with her two children at a nearby table. She was opening their juices and they were chattering away with excitement at the outing. The little girl had a pink dress on. You don’t see that much these days, usually little girls are wearing jeans or shorts. I thought it was nice.

The customer in front me was still ordering so I looked around the counter area and spied the glass globe of available toys for the
Happy Meal choice. They have such cute things for kids nowadays. The man in front of me finished his order and I stepped forward to face a cute little high-schooler with heavy braces on her teeth. She smiled at me and inquired what she could get for me, that’s when I turned off the paved road of contentment and hit the gravel road of grieving. 

I opened my mouth to order, and instead a loud, crumbly sob spilled out. It sounded like a moose call. It startled the girl, she stepped back, and it embarrassed me but there was no stopping it. Once you hit that gravel road, you can only ride it out. I did the only thing I could do, I ran for a pit stop.

terra dei farm
6/19/2012 10:41:13 PM

Susan - You captured and expressed emotions that most of us barely even recognize having. Thank you. My husband and I have been mourning the loss of his father earlier this spring, your assessment is spot on. Thank you for allowing yourself to be so honest and vulnerable with us!

6/19/2012 4:15:31 PM

my buddy's mother brought home $13036 a month ago. she been working on the internet and got a $519500 condo. All she did was get lucky and follow the instructions reported on this web page

d susan rutz
6/18/2012 3:54:05 PM

Thank you Dave and the best day to you as well. God Bless.

d susan rutz
6/18/2012 3:52:41 PM

God Bless you Cindy, I hope things get better for you. Thank you for taking the time to write me. I was worried that the subject might be too sad and yet, it was all I could think of, it was all that was on my mind--so I wrote about it. I am glad that it helped you and I pray your road will hit the pavement soon. Take care.

d susan rutz
6/18/2012 3:47:08 PM

Thanks for the tip! I will check that out.

tom michel
6/6/2012 6:06:25 PM

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cindy murphy
6/6/2012 12:06:06 PM

Susan, you cannot possibly imagine how much your post meant to me. I usually visit the GRIT website every day or two, but this is the first time I've checked in for a week - how appropriate it was I landed on your post first. I've just started my journey down that gravel road - my youngest brother died last Tuesday. Sobbing at every little thing is still the norm, not the exception, and though I know this will fade as the good memories of him take over, the road ahead appears so long and rough and maybe even lonely. Thanks for the reminder that there are people and things along the way that help with the journey. Your post was one of those things for me. I am very sorry for your loss, and hope you'll find smooth pavement ahead soon.

nebraska dave
6/4/2012 7:34:45 PM

Susan, I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. I too just lost a parent last year. My Dad was indeed a strong leader in the family right up into his middle 80s. Always kind, gentle, and best of all always had a answer for different situations. He was the master of fixers. If it broke, he could fix it. His death not only put a huge hole in the family but it made me the patriarch of the family. There's no way I can fill the shoes of Dad but the kind and gentle genes do live on through me. The fixer part .... not so much. Leader of the family and answers for all situations .... working on it. It's quite a new role for me. Hopefully when life is over the history of my family involvement will be one of positive memories. Have the best day that you can and just keep plugging along and someday that pain of loss will be replaced with smiles from the wonderful memories. I know. I've traveled that road many times.

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