A year ago I decided that it was time to do something with all the writing and research I did for my doctoral thesis on grieving multiple deaths. Since then, as if on cue, I have experienced multiple bereavements and find myself dealing with the complexities of multiple bereavement grief. All I can say for sure is that I am grateful to have walked this path before. I know what to expect, and knowing allows me to be more gentle with myself than I might otherwise be. I can let go of my self-judgement when I find myself grieving. I can be more patient with myself when I need more sleep or more headache meds. I can give myself some understanding when I'm impatient and irritable. I can recognize the difference between grief and despair.
I say, "I can," in all of those sentences, which is not the same as saying, "I do." I can't always follow my own wisdom. I don't always take my own advice. My current job situation does not allow me to get extra sleep, which is one of the things I know to be important. And when I find myself short-tempered and angry it doesn't always occur to me to relate it to the deaths that I am grieving.
The biggest difference on this particular journey of multiple bereavement grief from the one that I walked during the 80's and 90's, is that I now talk about grief and grieving out loud. I don't keep secrets. I share what I know. I hand out business cards with this blog site on them. I connect with other grievers. This time, I know how important it is to have companions on the journey.