Somedays I feel like I’m layered in grief. I remember how I would layer my clothing on those iffy weather days. Never knowing if the sun would break through the clouds and warm the gloomy day. This grief is heavier than my clothing and unlike my clothing cannot be ripped off when the waves hit and the tide recedes.
I feel like an onion. Peeling through the multiple layers will leave you in tears. Whenever I feel I’ve come to grips with your death, I’m hit by another wave. My tears come as the overwhelming feeling of sinking into my abyss hits like a slap.
My cancer diagnosis has compounded your death. I need you here. I want you here. You should be here. I need to hear your voice telling me, “You got this Mom.” I need you to talk to your brother as only brothers can. I need you to be here to help me face the unknown. I need you so badly that I feel myself reliving that horrific fresh pain I experienced early after your death.
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I grieve what could have been. I grieve who I used to be. I grieve for the life I took so for granted. I grieve for Ray and all he has lost in a companion. Layer after layer after layer. The grief builds up like volcanic ash. Get too close and you get burned. Tears flows like ash completely out of my control. Then the flow stops and mountains of ash are left behind. Mountains that block this journey to finding peace.
Mountains of tests since my diagnosis. Grief over the possibilities. Mountains of newly woken grief over you not being here to hug me. Grief over how quickly plans and life changes. Grief when I hear your brothers voice begin to crack as we both share our feeling about your absence.
I’ve read that grieving is a life long process. I will never get over your loss. I will never get over losing me. I pray for the strength to carry my layers as my journey with multifaceted grief will continue as long as I live.
Peeling an onion is like dealing with grief one step at a time. The onion comes apart one layer at a time. If you peel harshly you can tear through the layers causing damage. If you peel gently the layers fall off easily.
I will work to peel gently through my layers. Working through one layer at a time. Dealing with the feelings that I try to run from. Dealing with my losses in hopes of recovering a small slice of peace………..
I don’t know why your anniversary on October 3rd hit me so hard. It’s been 4 years and 9 months since you left this earth, but for some reason this anniversary hit me like a well thrown brick. Perhaps it’s because we are only 3 months short of your 5th year angelversary My brain knows you have been gone this long, my heart still struggles with this painful reality.
I feel like a broken piece of pottery. Once whole. Once beautiful. Once useful. Now I’ve been shattered so many times the pieces that compose me are sharp and jagged. No longer fitting perfectly together. Leaving large gaps that will never fit together to make me whole again.
I look at pictures of us. Smiling faces stare back at me. You as an innocent child in my arms. The joy radiating from my eyes. I look at pictures of you and Mike. Both happy and healthy. Sadly, there will be no more pictures of you. What I have is all that will ever be.
My pictures look nothing like the broken woman I have morphed into. My eyes carry a sadness that cannot be disguised. My smile is nothing like the one before your death. Some days I look at my reflection in the mirror and I want to cry. I miss who I was before your death. Now as I battle cancer, my reflection is even more painful.
I look like a ghost of the woman I was before. Pain has taken its toll on my face and body. Your loss continues to shock and shatter me. Our pictures never gave a clue as to how our lives would take a turn that would change me into someone I no longer recognize.
My losses just keep piling on. First your death. Then my career. Next were the friends who ran out of my life as fast as their legs would carry them. Losing both Bella and Simon within weeks of each other was losing another connection to you. Now, it’s my health. I wonder if I will ever be able to piece myself together again. I wonder if my body will return to a state of normal allowing me to enjoy the little things again. Yoga and biking. Walking the dogs and making dinner. Things I always took for granted as I took for granted that you would beat your disease and live.
So now I struggle to pick up my pieces and find a way to make them fit. The problem with broken pottery is once it’s broken it can never be repaired to the original state. It will always show the cracks. It will always show signs of damage.
The life I’m left to live is one I never saw coming. I’ve read that grief consists of two parts. The first being loss. The next is the remaking of life. Funny, life has continued to go on around me. I am older and somewhat wiser. I have learned not to sweat the small stuff. As so much of life really is small stuff. I have learned to stop and feel my grief. I’ve forgiven myself for not being able to save you. I know I will never return to the woman I was before your death. I’m trying to rebuild my pieces. Somedays I remember you, me and Mike holding hand and singing Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a big fall. All the Kings’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.
Matt, never did I think I would be Humpty. I miss you. I miss me. I miss who we used to be…………….