“I gave up trying to quit.” Those were some of the last words that my oldest son, Deacon, said as he smiled down to me on the night he and Garrett died. He was hugging me goodbye and I teased him about the fact that he had just patted me on the back like he had every single time he hugged me since the age of three years. It was his signature move that he always hated and I always loved. Last night I couldn’t sleep. It was about 1:00am and every time I would close my eyes that sarcastic grin of his was the image that slammed me, face first, into the brick wall of reality. There in the pitch black of night, the tears poured out of me. Sometimes the boys’ faces are so clear that I can feel Deacon’s kiss on my cheek and Garrett’s giant teddy bear hug as if I am transported back to those last moments. It is a beautiful torture that I both dread and crave all at once. It’s been over three years now and I’ve come to realize that this “season of grief” really is a season. I do not mean that in the way people mention a season as though it will one day pass forever. It is cyclical. In the beginning of this journey, I wrote about the stages of grief being a revolving door and how oftentimes we are essentially playing Russian Roulette with anger, acceptance, denial, bargaining, and depression; in no particular order. Unlike with that door, I know which season I’m stepping into and which I’m climbing out of... this week, I have found that my nails are dirty from digging my way out of the abyss, but my head is a little clearer and my heart is a little lighter. The end of January finds me in this space every year. I am no longer drawing my oxygen through a straw like I have been since the leaves began their annual fall transformation in October. During the easier months, I will still have nights like last night and when May approaches, I will suit up and ready myself for my next difficult season which consists of Mother’s Day, Deacon’s birthday, Garrett’s birthday, and mine. Until then, I invite Grief to sit with me in the quiet. She really can be quite the comforter when we let her. I’ve come to realize over these past few years that all she really wants to be is accepted. My grieving friends, we cannot escape our Grief. Oh, we can hide from her for a while. There are times when our hide and seek game becomes quite the challenge, but she always finds us. By that point, we are weary and worn from the chase; for the fear and exhaustion have given off a scent that she attacks with a vengeance. We do not often see clearly the fact that she is fighting hard to shield us from the painful truth: to run is futile for she is here to stay. I say all of that to say this... I gave up trying to quit. I gave up trying to quit my Grief. Or ignore her. Or move past her. Or make her smaller. She is here; larger than life and she is a part of me. Every day. In every season.
1/28/2021 10:23:46 pm
Thank you i need to hear this . Very well said. Never had to face grief like this. Z
1/29/2021 10:35:46 am
Thank you. Grief shows herself every day; in so many ways. I know we each carry her differently.