My friends, and I don’t use that word lightly. From a young age, my uncle taught me the difference between friends and acquaintances. As I tell my daughters, friends are few and far between, and that’s a good thing. We should be selective about who we let in our inner circle. In this space, though, I feel you’re all friends. Some of you have hung in there with me for a long time, and for that reason, I keep this promise to myself to pop in here every Thursday.
Today, I’m rather spent. The last few weeks have been tough, for lack of a more eloquent word. And it all came out yesterday morning. I still feel the ache in my heart, deep in my bones and joints. Something I’m understanding lately is that the stages of grief are cyclical. You don’t check each one off of your list, move onto the next, and then voila!, you’re all done, grief diploma in hand.
No. Quite the contrary.
The cycle ends, only to begin again. Feelings well up, seemingly small at first. A longing, perhaps rekindled from the recollection of a good time. You say to yourself, “it’ll pass”. You go on about your regular business.
And so on, and so on.
I’m at the volcano stage now, ready to blow. A few rumblings came out this morning.
You know, I write it often—in text messages to friends, how much I miss him. I think it to myself more times in a day than I wonder/know/think is normal. Why now? Why is it so damn unbearable now?
I haven’t said it out loud.
I burrowed my face in the pillow on the sofa, sobbed, and said it in a barely audible voice. But I said it. And I could feel a little release of the pressure building within. It’s just the beginning, and I have no idea where the end lies. But I do know that it won’t truly be an end when the pain subsides.
It will just be a lulling of the waves, until the next tide of emotions comes crashing down. But don’t worry too much about me. I will get through this, and the next one, much as I feel exhausted by it all.
Really, I came here today because I want to say it’s okay. For those who are dealing with grief, regardless of how much time has passed, everything you feel is okay. The ups, the downs, and everything in between. Be gentle on yourself, and I’ll try to do the same here.