I’m back in that weird place again. Just when I thought I was turning another corner, there’s a new roadblock in my way. I’ve been feeling A’s loss again rather profoundly the past week or so, despite having a bit of a respite for awhile. Although his absence is always felt, it seems that it sometimes this feeling is intensified.
Sometimes I feel like one of those old war veterans in an black and white movie claiming they can predict the weather through an old battle injury. Instead of predicting rain, however, it seems my subconscious can cause my grief to flare up when it knows something “big” is coming.
Much like the ripple of a rock on the water fades the further it gets from the impact, however, these days and moments are more muted and less severe most of the time. Recently, however, I can feel the sadness threatening to take over, and I find myself emotionally and physically exhausted from trying to stay afloat.
It isn’t as bad as it has been in the past – I’ve been weepy, yet not the sobbing, blubbering mess I was in the “early days”. I’ve been blue, but not despondent. I’ve been struggling, but I haven’t gone under. And through it all, I can still – easily and clearly – see the positives in my life. That speaks volumes to how far I’ve come, even as I grapple with the melancholy moments. Despite my somewhat gloomy mood of late, I know this too shall pass, and the waves I encounter will be easier to get over.
As with the old war injury, perhaps it’s not that the pain is any less, but that I’ve become stronger and more able to deal with it, or maybe I’ve just become accustomed to the feeling. Either way, I’m dealing. And trying to remember that each day I make it through is another day stronger I’ve become.
Recently, we helped my oldest daughter and her new husband move into their new apartment. Following their honeymoon, they packed up and moved closer to the rest of us. We spent a day moving their things into the moving truck, and then transferring everything to their new walk-up apartment. After my umpteenth trip up and down the stairs, lugging furniture and boxes into their new place, I was definitely cursing the fact that they were on the 2nd floor, while thanking my lucky stars they weren’t on the 3rd!
The couple was thrilled at the prospect of starting their new life in a new home that would be filled with old and new belongings merging together to create a beautiful place to hang their hats at night, even as the kids and I were less than thrilled at the prospect of bringing yet another box of shoes or dishes or cat toys up the stairs.
The next day, I went back by myself and spent the day opening boxes and organizing their kitchen, while the newlyweds put together the rest of the rooms. At one point, K walked by, and seeing the half-empty boxes, discarded bubble wrap and general disarray, remarked “it’s funny how it always looks worse before it looks better”.
How right she was, both in regards to settling in to her new home, as well as settling in to a new life. I feel that’s where I am at this moment in my grief journey – most of my boxes have been opened, their contents gone through, the no-longer-useful emotions crumpled and discarded, allowing me to start fresh in this life with old memories and new challenges displayed side by side in their new home. My new home. My new life.
And I know that every bleak moment I encounter, every trial I face and every obstacle I overcome is nothing more than me settling in to my new life. I’m starting to get a better picture of what that life is going to look like when all is said and done, and I think it’s going to be OK. Maybe more than OK. I’m aiming for a beautiful life.
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