The Gravel Road of Grieving

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

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.

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