Wednesday, September 29, 2010

There is No Road Map for Grief

It’s been four months since our baby boys grew their angel wings.  The people that surround me wonder silently why I’m still sad. Some even ask the question aloud. Four months, isn’t that long enough? Yes, little by little I am healing, both emotionally and physically, but there is no road map for grief. No start and finish. No timetable to direct my feelings. I have dug myself out from under the rock. My loving mother nursed me during my time of darkness when not just my heart but my whole body ached in sorrow.  When the only place I wanted to be was in my bed, nestled safely under the covers away from the pain of the real world.

I am better than I was yesterday, last week, and last month. My husband and I have found ways to reconnect. Maui’s sunsets and relaxing beaches. Breck, our new puppy. A fall camping trip along the Arkansas River. I've returned to work, and I am beginning to rediscover my passion for teaching, and my love for awkward middle school students learning to navigate their social worlds.

Nevertheless, there are still times when the world around me seems like it’s spinning too fast. Overwhelming moments of sadness catch me off guard. I often have to step away. I appear quiet and withdrawn, or the opposite, excited and overbearing,  a coping mechanism to stay afloat.  I must hurt before I heal, and the reactions I am having are normal. I am working very hard in my recovery, but grief does not go away, it simply dulls over time.

It's like swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. The first step in is teeth-chattering cold. As you wade in your body begins to numb, and eventually you forget you were ever cold in the first place. Unless you step out a moment, and are shocked by the instant freeze you feel flash through your body upon re-entry.

I don't blame you for asking why I am still sad after four months. I wish very much that you could understand my loss and grief, my silence, my pain, but unless you have been through this you can’t. And I pray that you never will understand.

3 comments:

  1. You have expressed your feelings so well Jill. "It's like swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. The first step in is teeth-chattering cold. As you wade in your body begins to numb, and eventually you forget you were ever cold in the first place. Unless you step out a moment, and are shocked by the instant freeze you feel flash through your body upon re-entry."
    This is part of the healing process in reaching out, expressing what you feel, bravo and know that your words will help others. You have my best wishes for you.
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a beautiful post. These words really capture how I've been feeling lately, almost 3 mos after our loss. I get the impression that some people may feel I should be "getting over it already", but I know this grief is now just a part of me. I'm so sorry for everything you've had to go through.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am surprised people would ask you that. It seems very personal. There is no time line, no "should be," in my opinion. I am glad you are following your instinct and taking the time you need to heal.
    BethAnn xo

    ReplyDelete