Is fine okay?

I am worried, worried because I feel fine and that makes me uneasy.

Since I arrived a few days ago there have been no big dips, no tear storms, no ache and oddly that absence of pain is uncomfortable.

I have grown so used to my daily rollercoaster ride that a few days in the fullness of okay feels a little bit scary, a bit too new. The level ground is as unfamiliar under my feet as the rich red African dirt.

Life is suddenly busier than before. I have places to go, things to do, jobs, people, conversations – the verbs and nouns line up for me.

I am brimming with thoughts about a thousand things – the contrast of the man grinding gravel by the side of the road with the vast turquoise expanse of the local pool, ideas about the shape I want my future to take, the histories the hills hold.

I feel full. My eyes brim with sights and sounds. There is so much to be known, to be asked.  I have fish-flapped back into the waters of work but there are new worlds all around me, new currents to swim.

People told me distraction would help and here that I have. But I do not know this, I worry that I will lose my sense of self, my hard won connection with what I feel, amidst all this colour and noise. I wonder if this ‘fine’ is for real, if it is something that it is safe for me to let myself feel.

It is nearly 3 months now since dad died and I find myself wishing that there was a chart that could tell me how I feel, where I should be. I am worried I might get grief wrong, skip a step, leave something lingering, something trailing unseen behind.

I have spoken of him, thought of him. He is rarely far from me, even when he is not in my thoughts. After all, I am living his love.

I have wondered at the quality of this peace, searched for flaws, for signs of artifice. But my pulse is still beating. I am still feeling, just not as I was before. When I stop and seek stillness inside, when I ask if this moment is me, I hear simply ‘I am  and I guess that is answer enough’.

For now the full ferocity of my pain seems to have ebbed, to have drawn back beyond the lake and the heavy dip of the sun. So I am trying to use this space, to let myself make room for more life. I remind myself that I don’t need a rope of pain to keep him with me, that there is no need for me to be bound to what is always mine.

The bright pain may return but it seems this day at least is meant for something else, for a different kind of vivid.

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2 Responses to Is fine okay?

  1. Felipe Neumann says:

    Remember my post about my trip to Uruguay? It was just a week long trip and still it made me feel fully renewed, rebuilt from inside to out in a certain level. I think this can as well be what’s happening to you right now.
    Trips usually give us a new sense of “everything”. When we’re in pain, pain is all that is, but then suddenly we realize there’s so much more out there… and you’re like “dang, I have to go out to see this!”.
    Let happiness sink in just like grief did when it was time for sorrow and thoughtfulness. (:

  2. Ah my dear, I felt exactly the same the week I returned to work, for the second time after my mother’s death, following her memorials. After a week of feeling ‘okay’, I started worrying I had lost touch with my grief, with my emotions; I lost my ‘clarity of grief’, and the busyness of life seemed to be distracting me from feeling. Then the next cycle of intense grieving hit me, harder than ever. Enjoy the lighter days, don’t worry – the intensity will return, whether you want it to or not…

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