It’s unavoidable. There’s nothing we can do about it. We simply cannot get through life without traveling down the road with grief. There it is.
Eight months ago I watched my favourite person take his last breath. My husband of 35 years gone.
The one who hugged me first thing every morning for at least one minute because he read it releases oxytocin and lowers stress.
The one who brought me coffee in bed when he woke up first, gave me flowers for no reason and told me every single day he loved me.
Grief is complicated. And I had no idea it can be so damn physical. Aches & pains, brain fog, rumbling gut, anxiety, exhaustion, shortness of breath, insomnia and lack of appetite. To allay my fears the doctor ordered complete blood work and an ECG. All results were normal. Definitely not a word I’d use to describe myself even in the best of times.
Being a writer my first line of defence is to research. Scrolling through Pinterest I tumbled into a wormhole of memes about grief. A few resonated but most had me rolling my eyes. Ugh. Could they be any more cliched? And I’ve never been a fan of rhyming poetry.
“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” The origin of this quote is highly debated but I believe it. Books, songs, movies and people come to me serendipitously. Those rare mindful moments when I’m not a whirling dervish with a hundred things on the go.
A friend sent me a book of meditations A Time to Grieve by Carol Staudacher. It’s the kind of book you can open to any page. Yes, this meditation feels right today or no, I’m not anywhere near ready for that one as I slam the book shut. This book is a gentle reminder grief isn’t something to rush or get over. I’m finding there aren’t as many days of one step forward and three steps back.
Taking care of the mind/body connection I’m practicing yoga, meditating, journalling and seeing a psychologist. The bullshit meter is strong with this one. She pokes and prods and gets to the crux of what’s keeping me up in the middle of the night. Forces me to categorize what I have control over and what I do not. Reminds me I’ve got an incredible support system and plenty of tools to deal with fears and insecurities.
On my best days I’m making plans and moving forward. On wobbly days it’s tears over song lyrics and not able to finish the simplest task. On those days the hugs I get from my grandsons are a balm.
Every single day I’m coping and stronger than I’ve ever given myself credit for. For now that’s enough.
Hugs from the beach…