Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Surprised by Grief

I woke up today from disturbed dreams, surprised by a random wave of grief. I say random, because the grief was not tied to one event or an anniversary: it was tied to losses in the last two years. And I was doing well this month, not even thinking about it much. I stopped grief counseling some time ago. Now, suddenly, everything in my house is laden with memories: I am in the glaring light of grief and can't look away.

Perhaps those of you with more grief experience will be able to explain this. Why everyone at once? Does grief always combine into a big ball of sad? Why did it have to happen now? What did I do to set it off? Did I look too much at the handkerchiefs? Did I dwell on the wrong pictures? Play a game they once loved? Get too few phone calls? Feel stressed with work? What?

I miss them, especially Lois. Some days it feels like I am walking with a moth-eaten cloth tied to my back, defined by its holes. I think about what grandma said, about how getting to your nineties is lonely, because you watch others fall to the side on the way. And I wonder if the cloth will get bigger, or if I'm failing at grief to still have it tied to me in this way.

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