Posts Tagged 'grief'

Babies

What is it about holding a baby that makes you feel better when you’re coping with a loss?  Maybe it’s a circle of life type of thing.  Every person lost is someone’s loved one, and every baby born is someone’s little squish monster, love, cuddle bunny.

Ebb and flow.  Wax and wane.  Life and death.

Plus, aside from when they shit themselves, babies just kind of smell good.

Also, everything is new and wonderful in their eyes.  Your hair, your jewelry, you clothes, rocks, sticks, bugs.   They just want to grab hold of life and the world and shove it in their mouths and taste it, too.

There’s no fear in them.  They’re so new, and everything is new to them, and they haven’t the slightest clue how terrifying the world can be.  So they’re just little bundles of light and optimism.

It’s freaking magic and infectious, because when you’re holding them, you realize that they have a chance to not have all the fucked up shit you’ve had in your life in theirs.

Or maybe their drool is just a natural anti-depressant, heartbreak numbing supplement.

Either way, I think I need to do a lot of babysitting.

And please don’t misunderstand me.  I still don’t want my own.  I just want to borrow one that I can give back.

Bad dreams

One of the things about grieving is that it does tend to bring up some pretty freaky dreams.  I’ve spend the last few nights being lead on some not-so-pleasant choice-less own adventures by my brain.  It sucks when even in my sleep, I can’t get away from all this crap on my mind.

Do you have the same dream over and over again?  I can’t really say that I’ve ever had that happen to me.  Of course, if I dream every night, most nights I have forgotten the dreams by the time I wake up.  For the longest time, I simply thought that I didn’t dream.

So I’ve obviously heard of people having recurring dreams.  My father once told me that he had a recurring dream, years after retiring from the Navy, of being on a ship, and not being able to find one piece of his uniform, and therefore not being able to leave the ship.  He looked everywhere, all over the ship.

But I’m not one to put too much into dreams, and their meanings.   I think it’s probably just the last few synapses firing when you fall into subconsciousness, a random refrigerator casserole of whatever was going on in your mind, what was going on in the back of your mind that you didn’t even realize, and some random memories.

But I think that my dad’s dream is stressed related.   In fact, I think most dreams are stressed related.  Even when you don’t think you are experiencing any stress. It’s your brain’s way of spazzing out and trying to shake it off.

While I’ve never had the same dream over and over again, I have had certain themes that have come up over the years.   I dream about messed up bathrooms.   Once, the toilet is too big for me to actually get on.  Another time, there was a series of stalls that don’t have the in-between walls, so that when I sat down and looked left and right, I could see all the other women on the other toilets.   Feel free to try to analyze that.  I’d love to hear your theories.

There are also, recurring locations.  I used to have dreams that all happened in the same house.  It wasn’t a house that I had ever been in, and there were things about it that didn’t make sense.  There was a secret room that had to be accessed through a serious of tiny spaces, and hidden doorways, and stairways in the front and back of the house, even though it wasn’t really that big.  I found myself in that house over and over again, but the other people with me were always different, as was the circumstance.   Again, I welcome your thoughts as to what that might be about.

And then, there’s the bridge of my nightmares.   I have had so many dreams about having to get across this bridge.   There’s always some weird thing going on that prevents it from being a simple drive across.  Even times when it’s  a straightforward crossing, this bridge is whack.   It’s so steep, that I wonder if my car can climb it; it climbs high up into the air, higher than a high-rise in New York; it’s narrow.

But normally I can’t just cross it.  There’s usually something wrong with it, and I have to go through some trials to get across.  The bridge is out, so I have to get on a barge, but it’s only accessible via a rickety old dock.  Or there’s only one lane open on this already tiny, narrow bridge.

Last night I had to cross it on a zipline strung over the road of the bridge, hand over hand, all the way up and down.   No wonder why I keep waking up totally exhausted.  I keep getting that kind of workout in the middle of the night.

I hate that bridge.  I probably have not seen the last of it.

Coping.

One of the hardest things about going through the grieving process, for me, is coping with other people’s reactions to my grief.   Everywhere I turn, it seems, there are people trying to hand me their own grief and issues.  Or just expecting me to get on with getting on.

I can’t carry that for you.   Not right now.   Probably not ever.

I can’t take on what you need right now.   I can’t be what you need me to be in this situation.  I’m struggling just to keep afloat myself.   Getting out of bed is herculean.   My legs feel as if they are 100 pounds each, and walking is a chore.   My brain keeps crashing, or rebooting without warning.   Answering questions is excruciating, in particular any questions about anything having to do with making a decision or planning anything.  I will do my best to be as invisible as possible, and to not speak up, and not volunteer.   And I’m lazy and avoiding the hell out of everything right now.  I’m struggling with trying to have patience.   Crowds are weird.   Corners are lovely.   Mostly, simple video games are addictive, soothing, and consuming.

And Catholic churches are the best place to cry.

The thing I learned this week, though, is that all those people who are trying to hand me their “stuff” and wanting me to carry it for them.  All those people that want to somehow make all of this about them, the people who seem to not understand that I need time, that I need space, that I need a little help; all that has nothing to do with me.  I can’t take it personally.   Anyone who has expectations of me that seem too high or who seems to be oblivious to what I’m going through and what it means, that’s just their “stuff”.   It’s not even any of my business.

I just have to do what I have to do to get through this, and people will get along without my help, if I can’t give it.  They’ll carry their own grief or fear of grief or whatever it is, and we’ll all get on in our own time.

I really do miss her, and I wish she were still here with us.  The world is less fun, less magic without her.

Words Fail

Sometimes there’s nothing to say, and nothing to do, except sit and wait for the awful to wash over and be done.   There are things so unspeakable, so horrific, and heartbreaking, that no possible action could ever make the thought of them less painful.

I’m sitting in a hotel room in New York City right now.  I have very little desire to go out and explore, as I have done in the past when visiting.  I just kind of want to sit here, with myself and my thoughts.  I’m not feeling too adventurous,  and I spent a large portion of the evening playing a simple and silly video game.  My stomach is bothering me.  I have a headache.

Really, what happened, though, is something so awful, that I don’t really want to write it anymore.   I’ve written it a couple of times, in emails, and in instant message windows, when saying it out loud was too hard.  I don’t want to put the letters together to form the words that make up the sentence that explains why I am sitting here alone.   This thing, it was bad.  Really bad.  And I’m not all that surprised to find that it’s effecting me in strange ways.    The sleeplessness I expected.  I figured that I would cry a lot, and thus have headaches.  I didn’t realize how dehydrated I’d really get.   I wasn’t expecting actual physical pain that would double me over.

I’m here in New York for work.  If not for work, I would have stayed home.   I just want to curl into a ball around my yucky tummy, and my heavy heart, and my headache, and cry as much as I want.

I am grieving, and it’s not something I want to be doing right here.


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