Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Lean into the Discomfort

I got this saying from an excellent Ted talk by Brene Brown about vulnerability. If you haven’t seen it, go watch! If you have, go watch again!

I have the words….Lean into the Discomfort on a sticky at work. I try to follow this when the world seems uncomfortable…itchy. Which at times seems often. I am not a fan of leaning into the discomfort. I like fleecy pants, teddy bears and tomato soup.

I really don’t like tomato soup at all but I thought it fit in well with what is comfortable.

Sadness is uncomfortable. Grief is even more so. I recently met a fellow writer who introduced herself as a Grief Writer. I applauded her honesty. When we spoke she said “I’m trying to write about things more positive……maybe move away from my loss.”

I’m not sure how NOT to write about grief and loss

I missed the Nationwide Commercial during the Superbowl but I caught the uproar later….you know….the one about the child dying? Ironically, I missed it because I was having an in depth conversation with a new friend about why we didn’t have kids. I watched it later and thought….huh, my life is that Nationwide Commercial. 

The Nationwide Commercial was referred to as a Superbowl Buzz Kill. And I get it… I get why..I really do.

I was a buzz kill once in college. I threw up on a boyfriend’s Boston U. sweatshirt…..I can’t look at Miller Genuine Draft the same.

We broke up over that sweatshirt. Perhaps it was for the best.

But when we use the words Buzz Kill…..we tell the world we don’t want to talk about what is sad, or tragic. It kills our buzz.

Just give us cute puppies in love with a horse. By the way? That relationship with the puppy and the horse will never work out… kill. 

My cousin who I mentioned in my last post died on Friday. ALS is a rotten, rat bastard of a disease. I found myself reeling from the not-so-distance death of my friend Heather, my cousin and the topper? my Great Aunt died two days before. Good Lord

I became a tad recluse, moody and perhaps (?) a tad depressed…….kill…..I snapped one day at Hubs.

“I’m sorry, I said. This is all too much.” He took me in his arms

“it’s awful.” he said. 

And together, we both leaned into the discomfort.

We were skiing when my cousin died. It was a Bluebird day at Crested Butte. When we got the news, I insisted we stop, have a beer and toast to a life gone too soon. I talked about it through the weekend….I allowed myself to process and be sad. And my friends leaned in with me. Asked questions, toasted, reaffirmed my belief that ALS is a rat bastard.

Everyday, those of us on the outskirts of what is normal life lean into the discomfort.

The comfort lies in who we can talk to about it….our connections, our relationships, our trust… process without being a buzz kill.

And now I’m off….to go watch that Budweiser puppy commercial