Grief & Loss

 

Do you ever feel like if one strand of the universe bends the wrong way, you will simply break into a million pieces and become lost in the gray static of your own life?

I do.

In the past six months, I have separated from my husband of ten years and my stepdad, once a virile marathon runner and gifted surgeon, passed away after a brutal fight with cancer. My mother, my ROCK and strongest supporter, suffers from progressive short-term memory loss. Not too long ago, my dad woke up in the middle of the night and drove around for hours looking for his dog who had died three years ago. The bright spot of my past week was a life without parole sentence for the woman who murdered and dismembered a close friend of mine 22 years ago.

My heart is broken into so many pieces that I don’t even know where to begin to put it back together. I’m not sure that it will ever be the same again.

Maybe losing so much at once is a good thing. I feel naked and undefined, my edges blurred, floating through these last six months completely outside of my true self. I am exhausted from trying to act stronger than I feel. Sometimes, when I am alone, the emotion, loss and grief rock my body like a giant wave and just like that, I am drowning.

I feel like I am about to shatter.

Grief and loss are wicked, curvy roads with no clear end. I stand in the middle, dazed and in limbo, grasping for moments of clarity that some days simply don’t come. When clarity does finally speak, she says, “You will get through this. You will be okay. This is all temporary.” I try to listen.

For once in my life, my need to lean into the chaos and pain by far outweighs my need to run from it. That’s a good thing. I want to feel every last drop of it. I want it to bring me to my knees over and over again. I have licked my wounds and protected my scars for the last time. Funny thing is, I thought I could find strength by holding on to pain, but it only impeded my growth. I long to be comfortable in the quiet of my own darkness, scars and all. My vulnerability is so raw, bruised and uncomfortable that it often feels like I am totally breaking down. Or, am I just finally breaking free? Either way, bring it.

Little by little, my broken pieces are pulling back towards each other, finding comfort in the lightness of their cracks instead of pushing them away. For me, that’s something that I have never before been able to do. They say the only way to get out of it is to get through it. Let it hurt and let it go.

Deep breaths. LOTS of deep breaths. I channel Joan of Arc: I am not afraid. I was born to do this.

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