Every year is another notch now.. One year further from having her in this life.. And one year closer to being with her again.. There is a morbid comfort in that for me. ..
Here is what I realized for myself this Febuary 12th..
Grief is like one of my limbs. It’s always there.. it’s part of me without me even being aware of it. .. Until I slam it in a door.
Because of a date on the calendar or because of a surprising moment that reaches out and slams the door on that limb before I can even get prepared..
Then I am hyper aware of it. For awhile it’s all I can think about. .. because the pain is so acute and overwhelming.. And it can be crippling.
When its a known thing.. Like an impending date I used to not be able to stop the door from closing, but I knew it was coming and could brace myself..
See this is a heavy door.. that at times I could only open by actively and intensely grieving her every night.. Late evening while my surviving babes slept.. I went to the depths of my pain. . And when dates or milestones came.. I knew what I needed to do to pry it back open.. To release it from locking me in place.. Because once it closes.. I know there is only way to open it..
Dig in. Dig out. Inhale and exhale.
But this year was different. I was aware of it. I was fully cognizant of holding that door open and refusing to let it slam. But I didn’t even really know how I was doing it. And I didn’t know how to stop myself from doing it.. That scared me. I think it scared Tony too..
We went to the beach.. I ran in the rain.. But my body fought it off.. Self-preservation taking over.. Too scared to acknowledge the depths.. Until the drive home..
And it slammed hard and fast. Perhaps a little angry it had been propped open for far too long.
But man did it feel good. Though the pain was all consuming.. It was also a relief. I didn’t realize how tired I was .. how much effort it had been taking to hold that door open in an attempt to protect my emotional limb.
But as soon as it hits.. it also starts to open back up on its own.. no longer needing me to force it open..
So the pain lessens.. not that constant ache.. it’s still tender for a time. I try to be gentle with it… knowing .. it won’t take much to be overwhelmed by it again. But just that. Acknowledging that it is there .. part of me.. but not taking over me.. That helps keep the door from slamming on me again.
Then it starts to fade.. that phantom limb returning to be part of me.. moving.. living.. existing with me. .. And I think I have felt guilt for this part of it.. Worry that I am allowing myself to forget her.. Because my grief is my connection to her in so many ways..
But even just that. This. This simple act of acknowledging that my limb is there. A silent part of my everyday.. It helps keep the door open without so much effort. Without unknowingly draining so much of me.
I think Im starting to learn.. Starting to accept ..
She is always part of it. Part of every moment of everyday.. Even if Im not acutely aware of it. .. and that doesnt change a damn thing.
I love you
a silent undercurrent
of my everyday
I love you Jennifer Lynn
Softly .. quietly.. always.
..until there is a cure..