Flesh has memory…
Phantom kisses, remembered
Your body leaning into a touch forever out of reach. An ache that extends well beyond your heart.
This and more rarely finds it way into polite conversation. And, when it does, the suggestion is to focus on other outlets.
Join a gym
Find a hobby
Or, my personal favorite… write it out.
Words spilling out, flowing out from my scattered brain, arranging and rearranging themselves on the page.
Words ricochet off remembered glances and promises unfulfilled.
I try to give them voice. But, how do you speak of desires now draped in shade?
It’s the unspoken things that are likely to drown you… when the impact of grief comes unbidden. Washes in with the tide, and curls up in the shadows of your heart, striking out in response to the smallest of triggers…
There is much that is grieved after loss.
And, flesh has memory, too.
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I’ve been thinking of my Mama.
My Mama… I’d never thought of her (or, called her such) while she lived. It wasn’t our way. Mommy. That’s what I called her mostly.
Actually, it was more like an interrogation.
Mommy, can I?
Mommy, did you know?
She’d entertain my questions. Generally, my questions were aimed at her back. Me at the kitchen table. Her moving about…
Later, it’d be…
Mom, you don’t understand.
Mom, you don’t listen.
Those were the last words I said to her.
Why does it matter? Especially after all these years? I suppose because those words stay with me.
They reverberate inside my soul.
Time has slipped away from me. Childhood memories and friends, experiences that others may readily recall — gone. It’s like a picture out of focus. I can just about make out the details, but the subject is lost. I’ll try not to get ahead of myself. Mostly because I think that’s how things, pieces of my life, started slipping away.
Don’t ask when details started to slip through the cracks. I don’t know. I only know when I started to pay attention. It was April 20, 2016 to be specific. It was on that day, a day that’d been otherwise unremarkable, that Paul and I sat in an office and the Dr told Paul, ‘You have cancer.’ It felt as if all the air had been sucked out of the room. A kind of telltale heaviness, everything shifting out of focus.
I felt that sensation again when I watched Paul’s casket being lowered into the ground more than a year later.
You know… when we took our vows, I meant them. Truly, I did. Honoring… In sickness and health, was my privilege.
But, that last part… I never imagined I’d have to live without him. Through this entire journey, it never occurred to me.
It’s often said God doesn’t make mistakes, but… the part of me that is selfish feels like I was jyped out of happily ever after.
I don’t know when or how it happened…
We look without seeing, blind to cues. Can’t hear, even when the words are said.
Maybe it started when folks started replacing greetings with,
How are you?
Can you hear what’s in the silence?
Hear beyond, Fine?
To be fair…
Fine… is my beautifully constructed lie.
Fine… is a pale lattice smile that shields you from my daily truth. Giving me something to aspire to… Every time I go unbidden down memory lane.
It’s no one’s fault, really.
Not the one nearly drowned in despair.
Not the one asking, loosing pointed daggers with every word.
Not many want to give audience to pain. Or, to the pale smiles that don’t quite reach my eyes.
Save a select few.
Those familiar with storms see through silence, and offer themselves to be ravaged by tears.
They’ll scale the lattice to bear witness to pain transformed.
#Perspective #DontGiveUp #PeekInsideASurvivorsHeart
I’ve been thinking about my brokenness. Wondering what will become of me, my shattered heart and life. I have to say, it’s hard to imagine what my new life will become. The futures we dreamed of, worked toward are suddenly, seemingly elusive. I don’t quite fit into my existing life. It’s too big, I’m suddenly smaller. (Too bad that hasn’t translated to my dress size. Lol) So, what am I to do? Often, when a bowl is broken it’s tossed out. But, this… is my life???
During one of my 4am musings, I stumbled across an article that talked about the ancient art of Kintsukuroi, a way of repairing broken pottery. And Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese philosophy that encourages embracing what’s flawed and imperfect. It says that beauty is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. That what comes from the breakage and repair is beautiful in and of itself. I love this…
The Japanese method uses gold, silver or platinum to bond the broken pieces of pottery back together. I’ll have to figure out what that looks like in my life. I mean, if simply propelling myself forward is enough then I’m on my way to a masterpiece. I move through my grief, daily. And, I’m reinventing my life. It’s necessary since “We” is now just “Me.”
Right now, the simple act of moving forward has to be enough… And, knowing that beauty will be born out of my brokenness is enough to keep me moving forward.
There can be beauty in brokenness… just have to rework the pieces.
I had a lovely day, spent a good portion of it watching the eclipse. I also had hours to think…
Tomorrow marks 3 months; the day my Love was eclipsed by Loss. While experiencing the solar eclipse, I couldn’t help but compare the experiences.
~ Watching the eclipse was like nothing I’ve experienced before. Similarly, widowhood is like no other grief I’ve experienced.
~ Both exist (the sun and moon, love and loss) though one blots out the other momentarily.
~ There’s a stillness that’s indescribable.
~ And, the darkness…
Our area only experienced a partial eclipse so there wasn’t complete darkness. The same can be said of grief. I’ve experienced (and continue to experience) a darkness like no other. Sometimes all encompassing. Sometimes not.
And, the eclipse had a trajectory. Likewise, grief
~ will run its course
~ will impact everyone in its path differently
~ is much like being in the eye of a storm
~ is intoxicatingly peaceful and ominous
~ takes effort to navigate
From one moment to the next, the eclipse changed as I watched. From fully visible to veiled by clouds, viewing the eclipse wasn’t without its challenges, and a proper filter was required. But, experiencing it was cathartic. The same can be said with grief, and all it’s phases.
I’m in no way an expert except for my own journey. But, the one truth about grief, as I know it, is that the only way is through it.
There was peace during the eclipse. Clouds blotted out the event, and there was a gentle breeze. Not unlike a caress… it was absolutely divine.
As I continue to navigate my Loss, I’ll continue to seek peace, and find my way through… even as it changes.
I tried to steel my heart against the grief. Thought that if I anticipated the triggers, I’d be able to navigate the pain,
on my own terms.
But, grief has companions.
Sorrow, anger and despair.
They come unbidden, dragging baggage behind.
And, despite all attempts to evict.
Settle in, like inner-city squatters.
So, I’ll welcome them, each in turn.
Gather them around like old friends.
I have after-Relay back, legs, knees and feet. But, I’m gonna press through it because:
* somewhere there’s someone hearing the words, You Have Cancer.
* somewhere there’s someone figuring out how to Fight their way through a diagnosis.
* somewhere there’s a Survivor pressing their way.
* somewhere there’s someone dealing with loss.
Yup… I’m gonna press my way with a heart of gratitude.