The first came when I was walking down the hall at school last Tuesday. I had just received the text about grandpa and I had 15 minutes to get to work. I was holding my tears in pretty well.
I kept thinking,
"As long as I don't run into my friend Sarah, I will be okay."
But what I really meant was:
"I really need Sarah."
About that time I came around the corner and there she was. She smiled and waved. Then she assessed my smile and wave. As she met me she simply embraced me and stepped to the side out of the way. I barred my head in her arms and sobbed. Snot and all, Sarah stroked my hair. Snot and all Sarah provided comfort.
Wednesday-Friday my friends surrounded me in just enough laughter and games to mask the reality of what was happening. Some would call this denial, but lets be real. There is nothing I could do that would bring my grandfather back to life. I wasn't ready to lose him but I was also not ready to cry. I wanted to laugh and they provided that for me. They provided comfort.
By Saturday I was fading fast. I had to work before we hit the road for 6 hours of awkward somber silence. While folding towels (I work at a salon and spa ) an elderly massage therapist simply stepped beside me and noticed I was in deep thought. As she asked if I was okay I began to sob as quietly as possible. She picked up on the fact that I did not want attention on myself and simply blocked the way for others to see my face. She stayed with me until I could swallow with ease. She provided comfort.
At the funeral there were small moments that others would simply brush off, but they were deep impacts of this healing process:
Holding my Aunt Donna's hand as we walked to the cars.
My 6 foot 6 cousin Neal reaching down to give me a bear hug.
My grandma stroking my arm.
Seeing my Aunt Lila finally let a tear fall.
Giving my mom a pep talk in the bathroom.
My husband leaning over to tell me joke during the funeral.
People say "everyone grieves different." This is true.
You may say I am in denial, or that I'm too "Happy-go-lucky" but I don't want to focus on my grief process. It's not the grief I need, it's the comfort.
If you are hurting, or when you do, don't ignore what sooths your aching soul. Don't force yourself to stay in pity. Don't be afraid to laugh, and know it's okay to be comforted in a variety of ways by a variety of people.