06 Jan remembering who i am
Time flies by so quickly and yet the days are excruciatingly long. I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that he is gone. While in Mexico, I watched weeks 29 and 30 pass. No fanfare but my own. No acknowledgement of the devastating impact of his departure except for the things I wrote. I do not expect people to count the days, track the weeks, tick off the number of months like I do. The world turns but I’m stuck in a moment. Seven months have passed. I watched that day come and go too. I am forever blessed by his life and forever scarred by his death.
Who am I anymore? How am I still standing? How am I still here? How does my heart continue to beat and my lungs breathe and my legs move me from point A to point B? Only fools would believe we are purely physical beings. I am living, breathing proof that we are much more than that. Part of us can die, while the rest of our ‘self’ continues to exist. We are uniquely designed, fully complicated beings with more than just a body. The interconnected parts affect the whole and when one piece is damaged, the whole is impacted, sometimes beyond repair.
I am not whole. Some days I feel that I am not even half. As the hourglass continues to empty into itself, I am more and more aware of how grief has changed me. Oftentimes, I struggle to remember who I am. I am gutted. I’m a condemned shack, an abandoned home, a foreclosure that cannot be restored. I need to be leveled. Some days, like today, I feel like I have been leveled. Bring the bulldozer in and just finish me off already. Clean up this mess. I’m taking the whole neighborhood down.
The holidays come and go… I am a pumpkin carved with an ugly grimace, a sickening grin. Hollowed out, empty. I am a cold, biting November wind. I’m a crispy, brown leaf in the gutter waiting to blow away. December comes and I am a dead tree with brittle branches… a total fire hazard. Somebody please light a match. And at the end of the worst year of my life, I’m a firework that fails to launch. I fizzle out on the ground while everyone looks with wonder at the bright sky.
What is next? What does this new year bring? What can become of this person whose joy is gone? Better women than I have failed at resurrecting themselves from the ashes. Will I ever climb out of this hole? I cannot imagine. That is how I feel. Today. Who am I?
Yesterday I smiled for pictures. I stared at the ocean. I read a great book. I soaked up the sun and expressed my thanks for life and family and friendship. I laughed and tried to overdose on the best coffee in the world. I savored a double scoop of ice cream in the afternoon, napped for 3 deliciously luxurious hours, devoured a boatload of carbs for dinner and then laughed some more. I ran through the rain to my little apartment in Mexico and thought of my many blessings. I recognized that even in the worst year of my life, there is joy to be found and small pleasures to be appreciated. All is not lost.
On days like today, when I am hollow and shattered, the waves of grief pummel me into the ground. They are noisy and triumphant and threaten to hold me under. But I know I will live through this day, and the next, and the next. On days like today, in moments like these, I remind myself that I am bigger than my feelings. I am determined. I am physically and mentally strong, even when emotionally exhausted and spiritually drained. This grief will not overtake me. I force myself to remember how I felt yesterday when the waves of grief crashed into me, and I recall how I pushed through. These waves will dissipate and I will not be crushed; I am resilient, I do not cave, I am a fighter.
In my darkest moments, when I think I cannot bear it any longer, I need to remember that! Just like waves come and go, feelings ebb and flow. And just like waves, feelings are fleeting. Yesterday, I was able to smile… so maybe tomorrow will bring more of that and less of this. On days like today, I will fill myself up with thoughts of my daily life with Mase, instead of magnifying one moment and allowing it to become the whole picture. My feelings will neither define me nor be the end of me. When the waves of grief come, they shouldn’t get to knock me over every time. I will learn to dive into them and come out the other side.
I need to remember who I am. I am gutted, yes. I am rambling and disheveled and unfocused, but I am still showing up. I am feeling this and feeling that, and I sometimes lose my way. It’s unbearably overwhelming, and so lonely. (I mean, how many times can I tell a friend the same story over and over?) Today is one of those days. I feel empty and lost, but I am more wholly human today than I have ever been.
I am flawed, deficient in many ways, and at the very same time I am perfect and enough.
I need to remember that.