Good Grief

Good Grief



Charlie Brown

“Good grief,” says Charlie Brown during times of frustration.

If only grief was as simple as when Lucy pulls the football away and Chuck is about to give it a boot.


Unfortunately you and I know grief as a feeling we get in response to a personal loss we have experienced.


I bring this up as we were discussing grief during a recent MS group meeting.

Our leader spoke about grief and how it related to a member who had just passed away from “complications of multiple sclerosis.”

The leader also talked about how grief can be an emotional response to our own MS.  That we grieve at our loss of physical function, cognitive ability and so on.


Our group’s discussion about grief dredged up several personal experiences I thought I would share—thinking maybe you have a similar memory.


My strongest outpouring of MS grief happened three years ago at my son’s high-school cross-country meet.  Watching him run the wet, soggy course was magical.

He was doing something I had loved–and it occurred to me that we would never do it together.  I cried…I’m talking “Brian’s Song,” “Other Side of the Mountain,” “Where the Red Fern Grows” balled!  Luckily, it was raining in a torrential downpour and my tears were hidden behind the rain.

I realize now they were not only tears of pride—but also tears of grief.  A finality of what was and what never will be.


The Funny Meter
The Funny Meter


(Go away Funny Meter!)


I also experience a tinge of grief every time I see the phrase “complications of multiple sclerosis” in a newspaper obituary.

Even though I did not know the person who passed—a little bit of me dies too as I grieve their loss.  I feel as though I can relate in some way.  Have an understanding that a healthy person will never know.


I wonder…does a cancer survivor, someone with diabetes or heart disease feels the same way when they read an obituary of a person with a similar illness?  Like one of their own has moved on.


This is a dark subject, I know.

And I apologize as this topic is WAY beyond the usual yammering one finds on this site.  But sometimes the reality of MS goes beyond a pumpkin-headed kid shouting “Good grief!”


5 Replies to “Good Grief”

  1. A metaphor that first comes to mind (and if this is the first one that comes to mind, I’m a little cracked) is the Black Knight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

    Despite having his limbs whacked off one by one, he persists in taunting his attackers until all that is left of him is a torso–still hurling insults at the backs of the retreating Knights of the Round Table.

    We taunt MS most of the time, jeering things like “Is that all you’ve got, you bloody coward? Bring it on!” But once in a while, the pain breaks through and we just can’t help sobbing.

  2. Three years ago I had a major MS exacerbation that was thought to be brought on by “grief”. Prior to this exacerbation I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Caught early it only required a lumpectomy and radiation. The day I returned to work after completing my radiation, my mother had a heart attack and died the same week. I used this “grief” as an excuse and thought I would “snap out of it”. The “grief” is gone, but three years later, still confined to a wheel chair. Note: I had been managing my MS for over ten years and taking Copaxone for over 7 years. Sorry to also go to a dark place, but you started it. My Mother used to say, “Only God knows why this happened, and he’s not telling”.

  3. Thanks for posting this Sock. This is always on all of our minds…and keep in mind that it’s always ok to shed some tears to get through a loss of any sort…then pick up and go on to make the best of what is still there.

    Kim, that’s an awesome one…thanks! forgot all about that movie

  4. Margaret,
    Yeah, I started it. Didn’t mean to dig up old feelings–just something I think about time to time.
    Thanks for sharing your story!

    Right. Pick up & move on. I’ve wallowed enough. Owe you one.