On the verge of tears. The lump in my throat has been swelling, throbbing all day like a second heartbeat. One that suffers from a murmur with inconsistent and irregular patterns, leaving me anxious with that sense of surprise as to when it will speed up, slow down, find it’s rhythm or finally give out.
My body wants to curl up into a ball, cry till my abs are sore and head aches with exhaustion. My spirit wants to astral travel to a place where I believe I will meet them again. I know they are there, but I don’t know how to get there. My mind wants to replay the good times over and over, and download a different ending to their story.
Grief has a door. Behind it is the temperamental black hole that I identify as grief. The loss of a loved one not only opens that door, but takes the chain door guard, deadbolts, even the knob, but leaves you with the key. A momento of melancholy for your loss.
Once that door is opened, you can attempt to push it shut, but it’s impossible to remain closed. At any given moment it will swing back open, activate it’s gravitational pull and entrap your spirit, seize your body and cause that second heartbeat (the one with the murmur) to start pulsating again.
Those yet to have their door forged open and still have a key with a purpose just don’t get it. It is impossible to comprehend unless you have gone through it. Unexperienced onlookers don’t know that even though we can push it shut and keep it in place for a short spell, that a tiny push, nudge or gust of wind can swing it back open and the empty feeling, that void gobbles us up once again.
Something so simple swung my door open today. It was a Mother. Actually, just the mention of a Mother. Someone else’s Mother (no relation to me at all) who was doing Motherly things with her adult child. The thought of such a normal interaction made my heart collapse under the pressure of my chest caving in and ribs crumbling to gravel. It reminded me that I’m not over the death of my Mother (and Father for that matter).
I didn’t know the harmless mention of another’s Mother would cause me to miss mine as if she died two hours ago. The feeling was so fresh, crisp and instant, I was ready to identify her body, make phone calls and arrange her cremation.
I thought I was done with grief. I’m not. I never will be
I have this great book I stumbled upon in my in my Mother’s bedroom as my Sister and I were sorting through her belongings after her death, “Giving Sorrow Words: How to Cope with Grief and Get on With Your Life.” The Founder of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), Cathy Lightner wrote it with Nancy Hathaway. I have yet to finish it, because it’s very hard for me (personally) to get through. In my mind, once I finish it, that means that I should be done with grieving the death of both of my parents and act as if all is well.
~ I believe my Mother read it to deal with the loss of My Father. Now I read it to deal with the loss of both of them ~
All is well though. I have so many blessings, I can’t count them all, and I am getting on with my life. I am not, however, done with grief. I never will be. Even this book that is about getting on with your life, only encourages “coping” with grief. To cope is to only face grief, head on and actually deal with it. So according to the book (and myself most days), I am the epitome of success.
I’m not afraid of my door swinging open. I don’t spend my days, guarding it, fiddling with my old key, or designing MacGyver-like contraptions in an attempt to keep it shut. To do so, would only keep me from living. So, I leave it alone. I walk by and face it everyday day. I know it’s there and I have accepted the fact that at any moment I will get sucked into that black hole. I can deal with that. I AM dealing with that.
I’m getting on with my life. I cope.