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Enjoy your stay under the variable skies of Eastern Washington and watch the seasons change, from planting to harvest here on the farm...be sure to wrap up in a quilt during the winter, it's cold!!

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Ball and the Box - Grief Explained

This is a ball in a box. There is a red button. When the red button gets pushed, it hurts. It makes you sad, it brings back all of the grief and sorrow, it brings pain and tears.

When you first lose someone or something, the ball is BIG. It is HEAVY. The ball sits on the button and brings unrelenting pain. It feels like the ball will always be this big and this heavy. The button is pushed over and over.

As time goes on, the ball gets smaller. The button is pushed often but it does let up sometimes. The ball isn’t as big or as heavy but still hurts just as bad when the button is pushed but you can move the box without pushing the button.

Once the ball becomes smaller, you can go about your day without fear and function day to day until the button gets pushed out of nowhere. It hurts just as bad as when it first got pushed and can bring you to your knees. But now, you have more time to recover in between hits because the ball is smaller and might not hit again for awhile.

The ball never fully goes away. It fluctuates in size and weight. Sometimes it is smaller, sometimes it is larger. It might be larger around holidays, birthdays or anniversaries.
As I try to prepare myself for the loss of my father, who is 98 and has been on hospice for almost 3 months, I will remember this.  I have been living with and taking care of him in his home for almost 4 years, which is why I haven't been quilting because my longarm is 750 miles away at my home.   After losing my brother when he was 15 in an avalanche skiing, my grandmother 2 years later, followed by my other grandmother, my mother, 3 aunts, 2 uncles, 3 cousins and several dear friends, I know that every death has a different size ball and some are super heavy.  For me, my brother and my best friend's deaths are still the most difficult...maybe because they were young (15 & 26) or because they were totally unexpected...my friend died hang gliding on the same mountain my brother was in the avalanche on.  I know that the out-of-the-blue accidents were a heavy blow, but I'm finding that watching my once vital dad slowly slipping away has been harder on me physically and emotionally.
Kalissa who blogs at The Pink Shoelaces posted this today and said we could share it.  She lost her father in June to cancer and her family is dealing with their own ball in the box.


K Reeves said...

This is an excellent analogy. The nurses and volunteers at Hospic are like angels, I hope they have been able to lift the burden so you can just love your dad in these final days. I pray for a peaceful home going for him, and for grace and strength for you in the days to come. May Jesus be ever present and His love encompass you before and behind as you walk this road. ❤️

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

Thank you for sharing this...I don't know what else to say. My heart goes out to you.

Susan said...

I'd say that's fairly accurate, but I wouldn't have remembered it when Paul died, even if I'd learned it the day before. At that moment, the grief and the pain overwhelm everything, and nothing helps. You know that already. My mother was hard when I was 9 and didn't know anything about life. Paul was next hardest, and my best friend, coming only 3 years later, was almost as hard. Knowing that it won't last at that high intensity is good, but I decided that feeling everything to the utmost shortens the time of intensity a little. Just feel it and get it over with - though it never does go away, you are so right. The tears will come unexpectedly years later, and I don't think that's going to stop - 9.5 years, and it's still there. =)

Thanks for posting this parable of the grief, though. NOW it's helpful. =)

Susie said...

It is accurate, I also find that having a box and locking up the pain and then opening it and experiencing it is a way I coped with my Grandfather's death when I was 10, my Dad's death when I was 15 and then my Mom's death when I was 20. I still had my Grandmother alive and had to look after her and comfort her as her daughter had died before she did. She sadly passed away four years later and being an only child I was alone, fortunately I had my husband to support me.

My Dad died suddenly of a heart attack and it was such a shock but my Mom had cancer and it was lingering and now I think my Mom's passing was worse.

I am so sorry you are going through this at the moment and thoughts and prayers are with you both. Take Care

Hugs & Love Susie xx

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Grief can come through many avenues...loss can be something other than death, yet the ball is true, though God gave me a different picture for my personal grief it's the same lesson.
May His peace be your pillow of comfort in the time ahead. xxx

Moira said...

That is such a good picture of grief. We've more things in common than I'd though - I too lost a brother at a young age (he was 18) in a drowning accident. Along iwth grandparents, my only uncle and other more distant family and multiple close friends. They are all still missed, sometimes more than others.

Sending hugs your way my friend.