Synovial Syntax

Good grief

Posted on: June 19, 2009

I’ve had a lot of bad grief since diagnosis. I’m working on identifying it all now and shouldering it into good grief. When I think about people and things I’ve lost in the past, I just long to find similar acceptance of this loss and the pleasure in the good things.

I was a psychiatric nurse for 10 years after high school. We were taught the classic five main elements of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I’ve found that with any grief you cycle around these stages. Often the feelings involved in these stages run concurrently. This process is hellishly more complex with this RA diagnosis. The disease is chronic, and my god it seems too easy for grieving to go chronic too. There’s loss after loss after loss, though many are small, they are surprisingly painful and intrusive. I’ve woken in tears from dreams of swimming: an empty pool, endless laps, effortless racing turns, mind and body strong, flexible and peaceful and found I’m back in a body rigidly fixed in pain.

That’s a lot of emotional work. Every week something else seems to be cut away from me by this disease process and I can’t spare the time to deal with each one. So I’ve thought forward into a possible future of grief to try and get it over with now so I can live what I’ve got left. The big loss would be the loss of hope, and I can’t live in fear of that, it’d be like killing the hope myself.


5 Responses to "Good grief"

You write very well.
May I recommend a book? The Anatomy of Hope by Dr. Jerome Groopman, subtitled how you can find strength in the face of illness

Thank you, will try and get it next ‘pay day’!. I’m also after one about RA called Living with Arthritis, from a John Hopkins imprint I htink.

And, it can be a cycle which repeats since for most, RA will flare and remit. and repeat. and flare…
So the grief does the same…

Glad to see travel has broadened your geographical knowledge.

No actually- it´s all about me! I be coming back! We will be seeing each other the weekend of 11th July. Keep it free. When the gloom gets too much here is something to look forward to (unless i drown in a freak cross atlantic or whatever bit of water it is accident- in which case you get the pick of my books- win win really…)

sorry to trivialise really quite poetic bit of writing about pain and loss but is my style. xxx

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