Archive for Going Crazy

Come and See Grammy!


And he takes my hand and leads me back to the couch . . .

Come and see Grammy! She scared me at first, but then I think Grammy wants me to come sit by her.

This was a request from a nearly four-year-old grandson. In a church I served as an interim pastor, I visited a man whose wife had died. Temporarily helping the congregation for several months, I didn’t know him well and had never met his wife. Well, I had “met” her in a hospital’s intensive care unit. In her mid-seventies, she had a series of unexpected health emergencies that far too quickly led to her death. I had also done her funeral.

Preparing for the service, I learned about her from friends and family. A devoted wife. A loving mother. The go-to Grammy for favorite desserts and spur-of-the-moment babysitting needs. She had raised her kids, gotten a teaching credential, taught for two decades, and badgered her husband until he took her to Paris after both had retired. They had a thousand more plans.

None of those plans included her death.

I went to see her husband. Read More →

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This Damn Grief

keysLet’s say it’s two or so months after your loved one’s death.

You are standing in the middle of the kitchen.

Your doctor’s appointment is across town and even if you left now, you’d be ten minutes late.

For the ninety-ninth time, you survey the pile of bills on the kitchen counter, and then the empty ceramic dish your youngest son crafted in elementary school that perches on the telephone table, and then the hooks on the wall by the door to the garage.

Now you start to cry.

You can’t find your car keys. And if you can’t find the keys, you can’t leave your house . . . let alone get to the doctor’s office. But that’s not the worst. Though in your early seventies and still feeling “young,” you are afraid that like your mother (who died a dozen years ago) and favorite uncle (currently in a pricey memory care facility), and also your best friend’s spouse, you are getting Alzheimer’s.

You can’t find your keys. And this morning, after your usual breakfast of granola and one slice of toasted wheat bread, you placed the carton of skim milk in the cupboard. Stupid? Forgetful? Silly? Last week, when mowing the lawn, you couldn’t locate the cumbersome green waste container for tossing in the grass clippings. It wasn’t until the next day that you spotted it in the corner of the garage. Who moved it where it didn’t belong? Gypsies? Gremlins? Read More →

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grieving-woman-236x300Grieving doesn’t mean you’re going crazy. But sometimes it feels like it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if grief were similar to a common cold or flu? Just a nasty cold for a week to ten days and then—1,000 tissues later—you’re chipper and back to your old self. Why not flu-like symptoms for grief? Achy? Yes! Fever? Maybe! Feel rotten? All the time! Don’t wanna to get outta bed? Exactly! But soon the flu is over and you’re chipper and back to your old self.

Grief isn’t a cold or flu, with or without a thousand tissues or resting and drinking plenty of fluids. Instead, grief is a combination of normal reactions to a normal event that all combine to create a profound sense of abnormality . . . that going-crazy feeling.

What do I mean “normal event?” Read More →

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