On Grief

The past year educated me practically in grief; I still wonder at God’s allowing me (years ago) to minister to the grieving as a grief-naive hospital chaplain.

The most salient lesson of the past year: for me, grief reduces functional capacities by about 20%. My subconscious hijacks a certain portion of my usual processing capacity, apparently processing the grief somehow unbeknownst to me. The net result is multi-tasking skills decline abruptly. I also have less ability to block out distracting background noise. Regrettably, I have a shortened fuse.

About one year ago my father, in apparent good health, died suddenly from cardiac arrest. Several weeks ago, my mother went on hospice. With my father’s death, the world seemed to turn upside down for about eight to nine months, and I experienced the reduced functioning detailed above. With my mother’s going on hospice, the world did not turn upside down. But functionality has again decreased by about 20%.

With hospice comes the possibility of anticipatory grief. Yet I don’t know how to do that yet. Notwithstanding diminished functionality, it seems I throw myself into “causes”, specifically to avoid addressing the draining, painful grief