Most days are sunny but there are odd moments when grief is a brick to the head, an unexpected blow, a crushing weight. There are moments when I wonder whether my sense of loss is greater than my sense of self, whether I can feel so broken and stay whole, intact.
I saw a friend’s status posted on Facebook ”2 years since dad died”, and it occurred to me that one day I will be 2 years away and this will still be real, dad will not be here. So obvious but still devastating.
There are moments when I’m not sure that place is a future it’s worth waiting round for. Tomorrow is too long, too sore.
This time grief ambushed me in the car as I sat on way to somewhere else. It disregarded my precautions, the carefully looked doors and wound up windows. It can break down any wall, re-route any path.
It’s hard to describe how suddenly it is there, stinging, choking, claustrophobic and I am smarting and spluttering from smoke that no one else has to breathe, politely gasping for air. It’s the car crash that crushes you alone as you sit smiling in company. It’s the cough that grows worse the less noise you try to make, the more eyes turn your way. The tide is a swelling panic that leaves nowhere to go, no place to hide from the mounting, rolling, seething wave. You can’t scream.
Grief is a brute, a tyrant. When it clicks it’s fingers it means right now, by force or surrender. It roughs you up but leaves no bruises.
All out of choices, I made some poor excuse to stop and get out. Frankly my colleagues probably thought I was a little nuts but the tears would just not wait and all I wanted was to cry, to let the feelings vent. In a matter of seconds I felt like the pent up pressure of a thousand years of all our losses was pushing at the back of my eyes, as if coloured streams might leap from my open lids in dizzying dancing arcs, Las Vegas fountains. But tears just trickle. This would never make a good show; the drama is all history.
I sat by the road and I cried, tried to laugh at how ridiculous I must look wailing as the birds sing and the blue blazes above, carrying on regardless. The sound settled somewhere beween a sob and a hiccup, a sobcup, a hicob. It felt oddly apt that my grief made something new – even if it is just a few silly words.
I am no Kate Winslet letting slip a single shining tear as the ship sinks. Real grief is messier, a running nose, a teary arm smudge smear. It is the words without the speech, without the sense.
All day the tears came and went, these scattered showers breezing through my day. Another storm would’ve beeen more forgiving of my downpour but the sun shone on. The world spun on.
I found my way into a hug, took shelter for a while then braved the deluge again. I vacillate between defiance and depression but one way or another it all comes out, I just have to stay standing… or sitting! I know I will make it to the end of my own story.
Now the good days by far outweigh the bad though the pain is not dinimished by fractions or ratios. Hurt still hurts. It still will hurt. At least now I know my tears will dry.
I am past the point of believing I might give up even though sometimes I still want to. So I sit with my grief. We keep each other company until my heart feels like beating again and the weight passes. Down leads back to up.