The other day, I spent the day in a familiar place with a friend, a place that holds so many beautiful, but now painful memories. Odd how something that was a place of immense joy for me, could now haunt my soul. It was very difficult for me to venture back and truth be told, i nearly did not go. Because I knew of the immense fear that my nemesis my anxiety, would work hard at sabotaging my day.
I did go and am glad, even though several times I had to fight back the notion to want to leave. I did my best to instead, try to embrace the beauty that still existed here. I focused only on the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, and to try to be in just that moment, even when i felt consumed by pain and grief. I laughed and i enjoyed myself, but the day also had tears and sorrow. A constant reminder that my life will always hurt and feel as if i am but a fraction the person i once was. I am constantly struggling, so very hard to hold on to what of me is left.
While up in Morgan and my old stomping grounds, I ran into someone who knew the old me, someone who knew Morgan. For anyone living in the fog of grief, you know you have perpetual mush brain, you tend to block out a lot or forget people, or events, because it is easier than the pain. I knew i recognized this person but yet could not place why? She embraced me with a warm smile and a hug, to which I reciprocated both actions. It came back to me who she was and as I smiled and made small talk. I was told how much better I am doing, and how i am moving on, because my smile was back……..UGH!!!! And out of nowhere, I felt as if I had been swallowed up by a heavy haze and could feel the rush of overwhelming anxiety starting.
She did nothing wrong, and was sincere, but yet my mind, heart, and soul immediately was thrown in to a state of fight or flight. You see, when you are lost in a constant expedition to find some happiness, monsters accompany that journey… For within that momentary jubilance, you always know that lurking and waiting for the opportunity to steal your thunder is your grief and it will do everything it can to overshadow it with guilt and anguish. You fight it and pray and long to hold on to that brief feeling of normal, you ache for it to last, but it never does.
Grief is evil, it takes everything you once knew and takes control of your mind set like a narcissistic person. It makes you second guess every action, and critiques your movements like it owns you, and for the most part it does……I guess where i am going with this is, yes I smiled that day, I laughed, i enjoyed my self, at the end of the day i was glad i went. With that said, i also cried, and felt pain and had to fight all day to stay above the grief and it is exhausting to the point of wanting to sleep the entire next day….. Grief does not end, i am not better just because i can smile. But I am oh so thankfully to have some of those few moments that are exultant… Please understand we bereaved parents have to fight with every ounce of our being, every moment of everyday to find something to smile about and to do so without guilt and pain. What comes easy for most is the battle of a life time for us, this is the price one pays to have loved someone who is worth missing and for that gift, i will humbly pay the price.
John Pavlovitz, summed up very well for me when the day i will finally stop grieving will be.