Crying Myself Raw

Posted on: December 14th, 2018 by

Helene's Stone

I’ve been away from the blogosphere and away from writing for what, to me, seems too long. Truth is, I have been so busy teaching and grading and preparing for classes and helping my daughter with her piles of homework and having some semblance of a social life that I haven’t really had the time for my blog.

So now, during finals week and with piles of essays to grade, I’ve decided to write.

Smart move? Probably not.

I want to be a more consistent writer, but right now consistency eludes me. So although my past goal has been and still is to write one blog post a week, I know that this won’t always be the case, and I’ve accepted that. I will do the best to write when I can.

There’s something else that has been holding me back from blogging, though.


Those who’ve been following my blog and who know me are aware that in a relatively short time span, my beloved father and doting aunt both died. At the times of their deaths, people told me that the first year without them would be the most difficult. That time heals all wounds.

I don’t buy into that ideology any more.

My dad died less than a year ago, and it’s been excruciating. The unveiling of my father’s tombstone was December 2, and, though surrounded by family, I felt no comfort. All I felt was pain and feeling abandoned by my daddy. My aunt Helene died August 18, 2017, more than a year ago and it’s as difficult now to cope with losing her as it was a week after she died. In fact, on the last night of Chanukah, my brother lit candles in my aunt’s menorah and texted me a picture of it. The waterworks began in a nanosecond.

Helene's Menorah

The truth is, the searing pain of losing someone so beloved really never goes away, and I’m coming to accept that.

I’ve spent much of the last year and a half crying myself raw. Added to the grief are some well-meaning folks who have told me that my parents (yes, my aunt was a parent) are no longer suffering and that my grief will lessen over time. And that I should get over it. Like, why am I still at Point A, when I should’ve advanced to Point B or even Point C?

The “getting over it” and “moving on” part sounded familiar. It’s what people told me after my conspicuous cancer treatment of chemotherapy plus radiation ended. I was told I needed to put “this” (another word for cancer) behind me once and for all. Well, it’s been nearly 18 years since cancer shit on my world, and I’m not over it. I’ve managed all these years, but cancer has its own agenda; it will not be delegated to the rearview mirror.

Maybe what I need to realize is that grief is permanent. There is no getting over trauma, whether it is losing that precious someone or being diagnosed with a disease.

How do you handle grief?

Were you ever told to “get over” a trauma?

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10 Responses to Crying Myself Raw

  1. Becky had this to say about that:

    I found it interesting that grief stopped me from writing … and not that my grief is gone, it isn’t but everyday I work to get back into the habit, knowing that even though Dad, Mom, and Lori are not there to see my posts, there are so many others that are …
    I hope you can find some joy and peace this season …

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Becky. I wish I could keep writing in my darkest moments. So far I haven’t always been able to. But maybe I need to push myself a bit and, as you say, “get back into the habit.”

      Your posts help so many people.

      I know I will have joyous and peaceful moments, and I intend to hang onto them. Thank you for your comment.

  2. Marie Ennis O'Connor had this to say about that:

    Oh Becky, I wish I had an answer to this one. My heart aches with grief every day – some days the ache is less acute but it’s always there. Becky’s words are a soothing balm to our tender hearts- much love to you both x

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Thank you, Marie, for reaching out to us. I know that you have so much grief. I find great comfort in our online community. Becky’s words are, indeed, soothing.

  3. Eileen had this to say about that:

    Beth, there are no words for grief. Just hugs. Just love sent from one heart to another. Consider yourself hugged, even if my arms don’t stretch to Chicago.

  4. Nancy Stordahl had this to say about that:

    Oh Beth, I wish I could offer some wise words that might help. But the reality is that none exist anyway. As you said, “the searing pain of losing someone so beloved really never goes away.” Truth. Sometimes I still miss my dad so much I am shocked by it myself. My mother, too, of course. The idea about getting over grief, cancer or any trauma is a myth. People don’t get over some things. You carry on. You move forward, but you never get over them. Nor should you. Big hugs to my friend. May it help to know others understand. xx

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Thank you, Nancy. You are so right about grief. One never gets over it. I always heard that the first year after a loved one dies is the worst, but this isn’t true. I still miss my loved ones, and there are days that the grief seems crippling.

  5. Deanna Attai had this to say about that:

    So sorry, Beth – love to you and your family.

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Thank you so much, Dr. Attai. It’s been a rough few years. I appreciate your support.

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