This morning I went to a celebration of life for a friend's husband. Jodi and Mark have been such a support to me, and to you. As I came in, Jodi looked at me and said, "Oh, it's too soon for you to have to go to a funeral."
I just hugged her and whispered, "It's too soon for them to be gone." Oh...
I've been doing a lot of grief work with some clients lately. My friend and supervisor mentioned that she was sorry things were working out that way, but I assured her it actually is good. I'm there with them, present 100%, but as I reflect later, I find myself processing more, too.
I keep realizing that grief is weird, and so is our culture in some ways. We are uncomfortable with grief, pain, tears. There's the sense that there should be a time limit. Most people's lives move on, but those whose lives have been intricately intertwined are left with a hole that doesn't heal, not really. And we're left behind, simultaneously locked in the past and yet dragged into the future. At least that's how it feels at this point.
When we first learned of Aaron's diagnosis, a friend brought me a book, Tear Soup. It tells the story of Grandy, an "old and somewhat wise woman" who navigates her own loss. As she moves through her grief, she adds what brings her comfort, and notes repeatedly that there is no "right" way, or "one" way to travel this road, although there are often similarities.
At the end, there are cooking tips for the cook who is reading, for the child cook, for a couple, for a friend of a cook. The one that hit hard was:
"Being at work may provide a relief from your grief, but as soon as you get in the car and start driving home you may find your grief comes flooding back."
Oh boy, did that ever hit home.
I am finding that as I start the car after work, it all hits. Hard. But sometimes the tears go (almost) as quickly as they come. But that wail...
Why can we not do that unless we're alone? I mean, I can't. It's not a won't, it's a can't. I can't release it if there is anyone else around. I did it when he was a week old and I was alone while everyone else was at church. I have screamed and yelled and wailed many times in the car. There is just something about being alone that allows the deepest grief to flow.
So I'm working through things. Sometimes the ache still brings me to my knees. Sometimes I laugh through my tears.
And sometimes I'm at peace with it.
I love you, Aaron.
I love you so much.
"I've learned that there is something down deep
within all of us ready to help us survive
the things we think we can't survive."