Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Raw

Three weeks (and a day).

For three weeks (and a day) I have been struggling with grief. Grief that still feels like a throbbing, open wound. Grief that stalks me.

I try to push it down and bury it, but it finds me. It sneaks up on me at unexpected moments, like the middle of spin class or during a phone call or right after a shower.

It follows me to work and rides with me in the car. It swooshes about my head while I swim. It wakes me in the middle of the night like the poke of cold fingers on my back.

He is gone. Remember? Did you do enough? Did you say it all? Did you?

I don’t think I did.

And that is what haunts me.

I have become adept at choking back tears, but sometimes they race out of control, like last night. Last night, I wept uncontrollably, face pressed against my husband’s chest, hands like claws clutching his shirt, eyes shut so tight in the dark in that when I finally opened them I was surprised to see moonlight streaming through the cracks between the curtains, lighting the contents of my bedroom in gentle contrast to my shaking sobs.

I thought it would get easier, and in some ways it has.

But in most it has not.

The world goes on.

Work makes demands. Huge ones.

Children need tending. Lots.

There is housework. And cooking.

Errands. Luncheons. Volunteer work.

Commitments of all kinds.

It all spins around me. Engulfing me.

I show up. I participate. I push through it because I have to. Because it is what's expected.

But under it all, I am turned inside out. Partly numb.

And partly raw.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Mayberry said...

Oh Kim, I am so sorry. I haven't lost a parent, but I have lost a child. It's hard. It takes a long time.

10:58 PM  
Blogger alejna said...

Oh, Kimberly. I'm so sorry. Please go easy on yourself for the things you think you should have done. You loved your father, he knew you loved him. That is huge.

At the same time, I know what you mean about being haunted by the feeling that you haven't done enough. Each time in my life that I have lost someone close to me, I have felt the same way, to different degrees. There are, of course, things I would have done differently if I'd known how little time there was.

I think that part of this worry over things not done has to do with how out-of-control we feel when dealing with grief. We think back to those missed opportunities and will ourselves to have taken them, as if somehow we can regain control of what passed. I think we feel like if we could have done things differently, things would have turned out differently now.

I'm not sure where I'm going with all of this, rambling on, except to say that I know what you mean, and I truly sympathize with you.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

(Hugs) to you and your family.

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Julia said...

My heart hurts reading this. Grief is a haunting, heartbreaking feeling like no other. It will bring you lower than you ever knew you could go. It catches you without warning and at the most ridiculous and inopportune times, but I think that is how it must be in order for us to truly allow ourselves to feel all that we need to when we have lost someone important in our lives. I want to tell you that this shall all pass in time, but I have not found that it does the way we would like -- unfortunately. I will tell you that it does become a little easier to cope with and the 'positive' feelings will eventually overcome the sadness and 'negative' feelings. Allow yourself those moments but please try not dwell for the circumstances cannot be changed. And, pleasepleaseplease (take it from me!!!) do not shut out those who try to support you cuz GIRL, like it or not, we got your back (and are probably wondering if we could borrow that shirt your're wearing!) Much, much love to you! XOXOX

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Shirley said...

Dear Kim: At my age I have lost many people under a variety of conditions. I'll be losing more in the following years as my friends and I trudge into our futures while carrying our acute and chronic conditions. We're a gritty lot, often laughing at ourselves and our predicaments. But each of us has learned that the most important minutes in life are in the here and now, never taking for granted the opportunity to cherish these minutes with our families and each other.

I think you've always known and shown this.

If you can get a copy of "The Prophet" by Kalhill Gilbran (sp?) do so. Mine is on loan to a friend who needed it or I'd send it to you. It has provided much comfort to me in my times of sadness. I particularly love the lesson wherein he teaches that it is our sorrow that carves more deeply the cup that holds our joy.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kim: My heart is breaking for you. As you know we were fortunate to have the greatest mother in the world and when she was gone I had several months of the complete inner grief you describe. I thought I would never get over it. But it does get easier.

When Grandpa died I had grief, but not the same as for Grandma. It was more anger at him, for I realized he was the parent, and I was angered at the loss of what he refused to give us as a family. I think we all live in a world of wanting that utopian life of the Cleavers with "Dad" always being there for us, but unfortunately we had other circumstances. As an adult, and a parent, I've come to realize we can only give what others will accept. You gave what you could Kim, with love and acceptance of what the person your Father was.

Live each day knowing that you gave and loved him as much you could. Remember that comet, the ducklings, all the times he probably read to you when you were young.

Hang in there and don't be so tough on yourself. Love, Aunt Sandy

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kim, I'm so so sorry. A lot of great advice here from your friends and family. But most important, and what I want to echo is he knew you loved him. He knew. He knows. Circumstances known by all led to certain actions. Don't beat yourself up over it...perhaps this is a reminder that we all need to be more open with those we love and not miss those "opportunities." Hang in there.

Alex B

1:42 PM  

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