It’s been a while since I posted anything related to my journey of grief. Just so you know, this will be a bit of a downer post… heads up.
When my dad died in 2012, I turned to blogging as an outlet. It helped. A lot. And in some little way, it felt good. It felt good to ‘get it all out’. It also felt good to know that in some small way my words might help someone else. Of course, I’m not sure if they ever did, or ever will; but I know as I muddle(d) through this thing called grief, it certainly helped to find people who had walked in my shoes. People who had ridden the same inexplicably powerful waves of grief that can be all consuming.
Grief is a funny thing. It comes and goes, much like a bathtub filling up. At first, grief can be overwhelming, like a bathtub filling quickly, and it overflows. Over time, the water still fills the bathtub, but a little more slowly. It never goes away, and you never ‘get over it’. You simply adapt to a new way of living.
Grief, in my experience, can also lie dormant for a while. After you get used to the idea that your life has changed forever, and that you need to keep pushing forward, grief somehow finds its way to the backburner. I guess it’s the process of ‘getting on’ with one’s life. But it never really goes away. It lays in wait. It lays and waits and strikes at the most obscure, inopportune moments. Much like the line from “The Godfather”… “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in”.
Grief never lets you go completely.
I sit here tonight, my kid is in bed, my husband is watching some Walking Dead/Game of Thrones type show downstairs. Life goes on. The earth is revolving. I am getting ready for another school year to start. Life is quote unquote “normal”. And from out of nowhere, I feel the tsunami swelling. And I know it’s going to hit hard unless I have an outlet.
And here I am. Using my outlet to help make sense of how I feel.
Nothing ‘happened’ to make me feel this way. I did spend time this week talking to a friend about her mum who passed a few weeks ago. In my own small way I wanted to let her know I understood, that she is not crazy when she bursts into tears while doing laundry. I wanted her to hear words no one ever told me, that it’s ok and it’s normal to feel like you’re on an out of control roller coaster.
Maybe that’s what triggered it. Maybe it was learning that my life long next door neighbor (whom I wasn’t particularly close to) died yesterday at the ripe old age of 62. Cancer claimed another one. Maybe it’s the fact that my empathy kicked into high gear as I thought about the excruciating journey her three kids and husband are about to take as they process her passing. Been there, done that. Don’t want the t-shirt.
Who knows what triggered it, but today is ‘one of those days’. Everything I look at screams my dad. And I got angry. Today, a wave of anger hit me, and hit me hard. I found myself at one point shaking my fist and screaming to no one in particular “why did you leave us? Why did you leave us? I know you can hear me. Why did you leave us?”. And no, I’m not crazy. This is the ugly side of grief. One minute you’re up, the next you’re down. And sadly, no one except those of us in this shitty club get it.
I try most days to be grateful. My dad’s sudden and tragic death put a lot in perspective for me. Unfortunately it took this to make me realize how fleeting life is, and how most of what we consider ‘problems’ are really not problems, they are minor inconveniences in this thing we call life. Most things, if you really think about it are not worth getting tied up in knots over. I guess it’s easier to focus on first world problems than to think about alternatives.
So where is this ramble going? My original intent was to face this latest wave of grief head on, and cut it off at its pass. I also hoped that someone out there might read and identify with my words.
But tonight I miss my dad. I weep for my son who lost a grandfather. I worry for my mother who lost a life partner of 40+years. I feel for those just starting this roller coaster ride. I am angry and sad, two emotions I haven’t felt in a very long time to this degree.
And so I ride the wave. And hope it will pass soon.