A new friend

From my journal dated September 26, 2002:

Mary Sutton called to ask about walking together sometimes. I was so glad to hear from her! I think I’ll take her up on it!

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Notes:

Mary was a lifesaver for me! She asked me several times if I wanted to start walking with her on a regular basis before I took her up on it. It helped me so much in so many ways – it gave me something to look forward to; it gave us an activity to do together (since we really didn’t know each other very well at the time); it gave me some exercise, which I badly needed to relieve stress. Walking together built a basis over time for a friendship, one which I will always cherish. Relationships don’t happen automatically; they take time, but can be well worth the effort.

Mary, dear friend, you are always in my heart!!

Physical reactions to grief

From my journal dated August 26, 2002:

Joe and Jenna keep telling me I mumble when I talk. Is it stress or is there something else wrong with  me? I know I have physical signs of stress – rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing. It seems like I breathe shallowly, too…it’s like if I breathe too deeply, the pain of grief goes too deep. There is almost always a pain in my chest down to my gut, always pain in some form or to some degree.

I keep having a sore throat and a cough. I just don’t feel well.

I haven’t actually relaxed since…I don’t know when. I know I’m tense. My face is taut. I’m so jumpy and loud noises irritate the heck out of me. I’m antsy and get panic-y at the drop of a hat.

What is the matter with me?

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Note:

Stress as a result of grief affects to body in a multitude of ways. I ended up being so jumpy. Too much noise was like fingernails on a blackboard, and I had a major fight-or-flight reaction at times. Sometimes I thought I was having a heart attack.

Although physical reactions are common and walking or some other form of exercise can help relieve some of the stress, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor if you are concerned about any physical symptom you may be having.

This is an excellent article on the physical reactions to grief:

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/your-health-and-grief/

It’s just not fair

From my journal dated July17, 2002:

I went for a long walk with Suzanne* yesterday. She said she had wanted to get together, but decided to wait a while since it looked like we had so many people here for us right after Jason died. Maybe a lot of people thought the same thing…and yet we were almost all alone.

I’m trying to have more grace for those who are calling and are at least trying to do something now. God, give me grace!! Help me! It’s such an effort for me to “chat” and trust them that they really care. Some of them, like Suzanne, I can tell are being real about it. Some, I think, just couldn’t do anything. There are two sides to every coin. I know I only see ours. Maybe the flip side would surprise me. Maybe my side would really surprise a lot of people!

I did have a good time walking with Suzanne. She wants to walk regularly, she said, get back in shape…although she’s certainly in better shape than I am! I’m so out of shape…plus I just don’t feel very good. No energy, sore throat, my lungs hurt, pain in my chest.

We talked a bit about Jason and the accident. Suzanne thinks that Jason had done what he was supposed to do here on earth and had done it well, so God took him home. She said she finds comfort in that. She asked me if I thought the aid unit got there fast enough and if they got them to a hospital to try to save them.

I can’t think about Jason being hit like that. He physically took the whole brunt of a car going twice the speed limit. It hit squarely on the driver side door. My precious boy. It’s just not far.

I don’t know the answers to any of the “why’s.” All I have is questions…and pain…and sadness. There’s not much else to me right now.