So I forgot to come to work over spring break and water my mom’s flower…
As I sit here looking at it… It feels much like my grief.
I wilt, feel dry and wither towards the floor as I find myself sad and overwhelmed.
Then I am filled – with something – kindness from a friend, a hug from a sibling, a sense of care from our lost loved one – like water to a flower.
And then I rise.
And then I forget to water myself and I wilt.
And then I rise again.
Last week I was wilting.
This week I am rising.
Here’s to the process, not the result. Here’s to watering ourselves with love and kindness so that we may honor the wilting and find strength to rise.
Grief is smiling when you remember a loving memory.
Grief is looking at your sleeping children and being filled with fear and love.
Grief is bawling on the bathroom floor because the feeling in your chest is just too heavy.
Grief is grateful and angry.
Grief is just sitting because your thoughts are weighing you down.
Grief is the sad tickle that keeps you from falling asleep at night.
Grief is waking up your partner but not being able to explain why you’re sad.
Grief is placing reminders of their life around the house so you can see them everyday.
Grief is taking a different road just to drive by a special place.
Grief is laughter as you recount a funny memory.
Grief is ugly crying in your car on the way to work and then going back home to put on mascara.
Grief is wanting to be happy and at the same time wanting to wallow in sadness.
Grief is texting your siblings in the middle of the night because you know they know how you feel.
Grief is sitting in the garage before coming inside because oftentimes, taking a moment is all you can do.
Grief is a lens through which I see everything.
Grief is constant.
Grief is happy-sad.
This week I have felt a deep, sad anger – an “it is not fair” state of mind. I’ve been lingering in the permanence of loss.
My mom will never be able to hear about my work week again.
I will never go to her house again.
She will never see another school music program again.
Permanence is where grief can cause us the most hurt. Where we perseverate on the idea of never having again – of the loss that happened and the reminders of the loss that continue to haunt us.
And this week, that is just where I am.
I saw her old neighbor and it made me sad.
I drove by her house and it made me angry.
I saw James second grade music concert, that she will never see.
That is where I am this week and I think that is ok. I won’t get stuck here. I will eventually move back into the space of gratefulness and breathing.
But it is also ok to sit in your feeling and experience it for a moment. My mom has been in my dreams, in my thoughts, in that tight space in my chest where I try not to cry. The universe is telling me to listen to this. Spend time with it and feel the sad anger. The “it’s not fair”. The never again.
Because that is grief. And wherever you are is ok.