Another day beside the sea but I feel like a stranger’s keeping me company even when I’m all alone.
You see, right now I don’t quite know myself. Everything tires me. I feel as if the me I recall – fit, lithe and full of energy – is an exaggeration I have talked myself into believing, as I struggle to find the strength to climb a little hillock and take a short stroll.
I remember reading a bereavement website day or two after dad had died and it mentioned the physical impact of grief… in my shell of few-day-shock I thought that nonsense. Now I wonder if have been body-swapped…
My body just does not seem quite my own. I do not know it. All day a crushing pain was tightened in my chest, coming and going like the clouds that scooted across the summer skies. Doing nothing exhausts me. I want to sleep more of the time than makes any sense. My back aches and throbs. I feel cold when I am not, shiver when I am in the sun. I feel lethargic, leaden… I sometimes imagine a goblin is clinging to my back, adding his weight, poking at me with his pointy fingers and tainting my day with his sullen looks.
But when I think about how I am behaving, I wonder if I am the goblin.. For hours at a stretch I feel fine and then for no apparent reason I find myself snappy, bad tempered, tetchy as a moody child. I do not like myself much but I can’t seem to quit acting like an evil tempered imp. I wonder if this is grief or whether I am becoming someone I do not like… if that is how this experience will change me.
So, unwilling to subject anyone else to my company, I stood alone on the sea shore this evening, with my face to the sea, and watched the sun sink. I talked aloud to God, dad, myself and anyone who might be inclined to listen, without thinking too much about sense or theology or what the moment meant. I cried, laughed, spluttered with self consciousness when joggers came a little too close, cried again and then carried on talking anyway.
Half formed words and thoughts tumbled out and washed away into the sea. Letting the mess loose a little reminded me that even on the days when I feel fine, I am not, that even though the world is carrying on, right now mine is not… and oddly that recognition helped me to forgive myself for the behaviour of the goblin I seem to be harbouring… there will be time enough to be better tomorrow.