Good Grief: Riding the Wave of Sorrow

This past week has been rough. It seems that there's never a dull moment in my life. But I was distinctly reminded this week of the concept that grief comes in waves.

I was getting ready for bedtime on Monday when suddenly, out of nowhere I felt the lack of my mother's presence in the world. And just as quickly the air went out of my lungs and it was as if it had happened yesterday. The one thought in my head: how is she gone?!

The grief counselor had warned me about this and although I'd felt minor ripples in my world, this was the first time when the wave was debilitating.  I found myself once again doing for the frog princess and then spending quality time in bed or on the couch. If I didn't know any better, I'd say I was coming down with the flu. The symptoms? Headaches, stomach aches (because I can't eat when I feel like this), aching body (and heart), extreme tiredness and sleepiness. Oh and the sadness. I am not sure how to describe it. Melancholy? That sounds too romantic a notion.

It is loss. And it is grief. Plenty of times, I have heard "aren't you done with that yet?" "pick yourself up by the bootstraps. It's what she would want." I could go on and on and on. Grief has not time limit, I'm afraid.

The comparison to the waves is pretty accurate though. You go through your stages but, the tides roll back in again and the cycle sometimes repeats though not with the same intensity or predictability.

I rode the wave this week. I had things slip that couldn't and I got behind on important tasks but, when a tsunami hits you stop to recover, right? This wasn't a great big tsunami but it was certainly the first time that I'd been knocked off my feet in months. I think to expect it during holidays, special occasions, etc. But I think part of the reason why these waves hit so hard is because they are not expected. I was getting ready to put the frog princess to sleep. Picking up today and calling out to her to hurry up with her milk. Where in the world was the connection?

Remind me again why it is that we put up with so much unnecessary drama in our lives when we are here for such a short period of time? Tell me why it is that we allow so much outside influence to affect our internal compass or our routine for the day?

This bout with grief this week has not all been bad. I was reminded of the fact that more than anything in the world, I don't want to deal with drama in life (personally, professionally or spiritually). That I have to fight every day to continue to be present until I no longer have to fight and it comes naturally. This means removing those thoughts about who said what, who does/did what and who likes me or not. People have already made their decisions about me and guess what? It had nothing to do with ME, with the person that I am and was made to be. Because most people go through life coloring their world with their own paintbrushes and always forgetting to wash off the paint.

When I went to bed Monday night I prayed and more than anything I wanted to see mami in my dreams. Sure enough, there she was. I was holding her in my arms the way that I hold the frog princess who already feels too big to be cuddled. I was telling her in the same playful way I use with my child "do you know how much I love you?" and "do you know how much I'm going to miss you?". I don't know what she said back to me as she laid quietly in my arms. But I just remember the love radiating from her.
 
So perhaps this week has been a reminder that at the end, the love is all that remains and all that's important. I'm still riding the wave but, I hope I'm learning the lesson along the way.