First up. Here’s what I know about grief and loss.
Sweet fuck all.
The only thing I know is that I’m processing it today, and I wanted to share.
It’s a funny thing. You think you’re fine, and then suddenly you’re already sobbing on a quick car trip, wondering why, and then a hearse with a coffin in it, stops at the lights beside you, as if to reinforce the issues. It makes me reflect on where I’m at.
You see, I’ve experienced some loss and change and deaths year or two, and there’s a series of grief feelings that have come with that. To elaborate on a few feelings (probably more for my own good than anything)
I lost my marriage. Well - we lost the ideal of what we thought marriage and family should look like. Which is a big deal. We have done an amazing job of reinventing our commitment to be one of friendship, support and conscious co-parenting. Wonderful! Doesn’t mean it’s not a loss. And it’s still be very painful.
I lost my faith. I changed my mind about something I had committed a lot of time and effort and energy into. A framework that supported me in many ways, but I realised was somewhat of a false idea of hope and a restricted way to live. This reference point was flimsy, and many things about it made me uncomfortable, however the universal truth of love, true grace and connectedness stays with me. Departures from communities bound by the fragile fear of man, often highlight their empty words and false promises. So really…I lost friends, hope, and the reference point I’d been checking in on, yet departing from.
Also I’ve known of 4 people to pass away in the last 6 months. Although some of them more on the peripheral of my life, there was one who was a mentor, friend and inspiration for a number of years. The others were acquaintances, and someone in my family. My empathy is so big for those who are closest. It’s not peripheral for them, it’s likely a big fuckin smack in the face, and an everlasting hole. All of them were too young. You could almost say that at any age. But it seems the sooner they go, the bigger the wound…but who is measuring wounds?
All this collected and has been swimming in my mind, and has manifested in dreams for me. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had 2 separate intense dreams that someone close to me has died. You know the ones that feel so real, and linger? I’ve woken myself with heart wrenching sobbing sounds coming from the depths of my soul, and it’s stayed with me for days. It’s easy for it to turn into fear. Fear that one of my closest humans would suddenly be snatched away from my tangible touch. Truth is, it actually could happen. I just try to make peace with that.
In my dream, my daughter had died. A vision of her body being crushed, and the grief hit me like a weight and in this surreal world, I collapsed. Anguish incapacitated me in the middle of a busy road, where cars were coming, and I just didn’t care. The physical cries from my heart woke me, and although this trauma seemed so real, it was a comfort that she was right there next to me and breathing. Some people are having these dreams, and not getting the comfort of breath when they wake.
So as cumulative change stores itself in my brain and my body, it has to come out somewhere, and I found myself sobbing this afternoon, on my way to get a massage. I couldn’t really tell you exactly what started it, I think maybe it’s a release as I move through feelings of my own losses and changes, and the information I’ve collected from others in their grief.
But I’m sure the presence of dark must contrast the light. Does it highlight what light there is? If there is something I do know, its that there can’t be one without the other, so surely there is a way they work together.
Having that massage and some contemplative time has helped, but I’m not in any way suggesting that will fix grief. It’s just a decision I could make for right now. A decision about my own grief experience, however small. I decide to be grateful for who I still have in my life in this moment, having empathy for all the people I know who are hurting with gaping holes in their lives. I accept the changes that life brings, and hope that when it comes my turn for a bigger wound, I can face it.
I tousled with the unexpected anguish
I felt the pain in my tissues, and I tried to make it leave
I know, I need to just feel it
Everything always passes
And then I see your trauma, and that burns inside me too
I’m convinced light and dark live together
Even in the darkest depths of the universe, light bounces around
Even in the darkest time of a life, a pin prick of light must shine somewhere
You’re not alone in it
I’ll just let these feelings be mine
Without living in fear of this impending inevitability
And offer hands of help
When you fall on the road and can’t get up.