Emotional VS Physical Pain


In the first six months of this year, 2013, I experienced both emotional and physical pain.  At the beginning of the year it was the emotional pain I felt with the the loss of my younger brother to suicide, and in June, it was the physical pain of a pinched nerve in my low back and buttock.  Both pains brought me to a stand still in their own way.

There is not good way to describe the pain I felt when I found my brother down from a self inflicted gun shot wound in early December.  When the initial disbelief wore off, an overwhelming sense of grief overcame me.  It felt as if someone had torn my heart from my chest and I cried, sobbed until I could barely breathe.  The sounds of grief that came out of me were haunting.  I felt like there would never be light again in my life.  My emotional pain brought me to a stand still.

The physical pain came in the form of crippling pain in my buttock.   Back in June, I went to bed with a little nag in my upper buttock, and woke up barely able to get myself out of bed.  I couldn’t find a way to move that didn’t bring shooting pains down my buttock or allow me to straighten out.  I managed to get to the floor and crawled to the bathroom.  What the heck happened in the night??  I didn’t think the pain could get any worse than it was until I went to get a massage to help get rid of the “muscle spasm”.

I came home from the massage worse than before I left home, and immediately iced my sore butt.  It was amazing to see my technicolored left buttock the next morning as a result of the massage on my already traumatized tissue.  Looking back, it wasn’t the best choice I made, though at the time it seemed the right thing to do. The pain in my butt lasted a good 2 and a half months before it became but a mere memory.  I knew things were better when I was able to get out of bed and realized that I hadn’t thought about the pain as I no longer experienced it upon arising.

Emotional pain?  Physical pain?  Is there one you would prefer over the other? My immediate response to that question is,  I would pick physical pain over the gut wrenching pain of grief any day.  With physical pain, though it may always be there, there is hope that some day it will be gone.  With emotional pain, the pain of loss will always be there.  Nothing can bring my brother Vic back.  No matter how much I wish, how many drugs I take, how much time passes, the fact remains, he is gone and I am forever changed.





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6 thoughts on “Emotional VS Physical Pain

    • Thanks Sis. Your love and support has played a very important role in getting me through this difficult time in my life, when you too were suffering our loss. I don’t know how I would have done it without you and Sam. Love you two

  1. Very well said & almost verbatim what I have said to a few people in the last few weeks Janet. It’s comforting to know my grief is not that different than someone else’s. Thank you!!

    • My heart goes out to you in your grief Rene’. Who would have known that we would become kindred spirits over such a shared experience as loss of a loved one? Hugs to you my friend.)

  2. Janet…to me u will always be Pedie. What a beautifully written experience. You nailed the subject. I too have experienced the loss of both my parents at a young age. In addition, I have low back pain all the time. Some days worse than others. I agree with you as I would choose physical pain over emotional. I am sure you have helped others with u writing about ur most private feelings. I admired u in High School and even more now. You are strong, couragious, thoughtful, giving and a person that most meet once in a life time. Hang in there…

    • Thanks for your kind words Pence 🙂 As the 1 year anniversary of Vic’s death approaches, I may experience a few bumps in the road- in fact I already have. I know that it is to be expected and I will survive. Thanks for your confidence in me. Pedie:)

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