I was recently analyzing why I feel the need to torture myself from time to time and visit something that reminds me of one of the loved ones who have passed. Here are a few examples:
For my mom, the song “Sleepwalk” by Ritchie Valens is the one that gets me – no matter what version if it’s a remake, no matter how many notes of the song I hear before I hit the skip button on the MP3 player, it seems that song always reminds me of my mom and brings a giant lump to my throat and instant tears fill my eyes.
For a friend, Rob, whenever I think I’m having a strong day and not grieving (whatever that means LOL) and I attempt to watch the memorial video that his nephew made. Every time, I inevitably get to one of the baby pictures in the video and lose it.
For my Great Aunt Pat, who most recently passed, it is hearing the story (and now reflecting on the story) about how her children received a card and flowers from her on Mother’s Day – 2 months after she had passed away, with a note that said “Love Your Momma”…I lose it.
I have dubbed this emotional process “Grief Chicken” becuase it is very similiar to what someone might do getting behind the wheel of a car (or tractor i.e. Footloose) going head-to-head with someone in another vehicle until one or the other pulls out of the line of impact…I feel like I do that with these emotional scenarios. I think to myself, “oh I wonder if I could get through ‘Sleepwalk’ without crying” or I wonder if I can watch Rob’s memorial video without bawling…and the answer, thus far, has been no.
It may seem like I’m intentially torturing myself when I do this- however, I really do feel it is part of my own healing process. I feel like everytime I do manage, by the grace of God, to get through “Sleepwalk” that, while I may be crying, perhaps I’m not crying as hard as last time.
I wonder if other people engage in this game of “Grief Chicken” as I do? If so, I would love to hear your experiences.
Wow Dortha what an emotionally heart felt post. As a man I have not considered the effect songs and video of loved ones can have on a person. Do not get me wrong I have had emotional responses to video and audio like the lump in the throat and eyes starting to tear up, but it is usually a singular event.
I think it demonstrates the connection you had with your mom and friend
Thank you, James. I appreciate your sentiments.