|Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2006 || A strange new bedfellow|
Grief is a strange new bedfellow I am realizing I'd never truly met before, though I thought I had.
Merriam Webster defines it as "deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement". We grieve over a variety of things besides, or in addition to, losing someone we love to death. We grieve the loss of relationships, homes as we move from place to place, jobs, roles we held. I've experienced all of those to some extent.
But actually losing someone close to you, someone who's passing leaves a real, visible hole in your life is very, very different.
Perhaps it is because her passing seems to have no benefit, at least not to those of us left behind (others were "burdens"; she never was, was she, girls?). I find myself cringing at remarks of "she's in a better place....she's in heaven...at least her family was with her when she passed..."
So what!? Call me selfish, but I still want her here!
Often last week, when her passing could only be counted by hours and days, I found myself going about, doing the everyday things, when suddenly I felt as if someone was pressing down on my chest, squeezing my heart. My breathing became shallow, almost labored, and I would gulp for air for a moment. Then I'd hear a sigh.
"What was that?"
In those moments, it was as if I'd stepped outside of myself and could see and hear those things happening and I'd wonder, "Who is that woman with the sad eyes and creased brow?"
Wait. That's me.
I'd look around and wonder why everyone continued on - walking, talking, eating, drinking, living... Didn't they know? Why didn't everything stop? Shouldn't it stop!?
You mean I still have to eat? Get dressed? Work? Smile?
Yes, that is what you are expected to do, Nicole. So, I did just that. Wake up. Check. Eat lunch. Check. Make dinner. Check. Go to bed. Check.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday...each day passed and I wondered if anyone could see me.
Saturday came, and we'd promised the youngest we'd take him to a fall festival. At first the diversion was welcome, and folks were kind in their inquiries. I felt as if I was standing back, watching myself at a distance, when, without warning, amidst orange and yellow streamers, popping popcorn, and laughing costumed kids, I felt my heart constrict with an overwhelming desire to get out of there. NOW.
Breathe, Nicole. Just breathe.
But it hurts to breathe.
I frantically tried to process these feelings. The writer in me searching for the words to describe, detail, disect...
But there are no words - can't you tell even now?
I just wanted to see, hear, feel, breathe - for a whole day - without it hurting.
And then Sunday came. One week. And somehow, some way, the longing and sorrow I'd felt all week began to dissipate a little, like wisps of fog rising from our frost-covered lawn.
I realized, as I snuggled with Rob at the end of that day, that it didn't hurt quite so much...that the sharp pain had become a dull aching...that I hadn't sighed that day.
And I imagine it will remain for quite some time. As another week passes, then a month...Thanksgiving...Christmas...a new year without hearing "Hi hon..."
The one thing I can be certain of is that I want it to remain. You see, it is both despised and welcomed.
Despised because it means she really is gone.
Welcomed because it speaks of love.
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007