I woke up this morning, and rolled over to face Grief. She was laying on the bed with me, propped up on one elbow, smiling sweetly as I opened my eyes. Her silhouette blocked out the sunlight as it streamed into the room.
Good morning she said. I closed my eyes, and sighed. ” Morning” I mumbled. She whispered gently, ” I let you sleep last night”, and I thanked her for the reprieve from the torturous hours of laying there; thoughts racing round and round my head as they often do.
I left my home last week: and flew many long hours alone , back to where Sam lived, and where he died. Grief followed, but she stayed hidden in the shadows mostly, only appearing now and again as a tear running down my face. I tried my hardest to remain stoic, and even cheerful for those 6 days. I had meetings to sit through; family to visit. I wanted them to feel some semblance of normalcy, in a time when normalcy is scarce for my family. I made it through the week. Well, almost. I cried hard into my pillow on my last night. But nobody had to see or hear that. I don’t know why I’m so afraid to show Grief, or why I’m ashamed of losing my composure. But I am: that’s just me. I guess I’ve always felt like I needed to hide Sorrow. Sorrow is a close cousin to Grief. They are similar, but different. It takes more energy to hide Grief though. It’s so unhealthy. But, I really don’t care much about my health these days.
I broke down the night that I got home. Grief brushed the hair off of my face and tried her best to soothe the heart wrenching sobs that started off silent, but quickly turned to a relentless rage of gasps and tears that wracked my body. Randy was cooking me dinner, and quickly crossed the kitchen to hold me tight. I clutched onto him, and felt that if I let go, I would fall into the void and be lost forever. He told me later, that as he started to let go, he felt Sam tighten the embrace and whisper, ” Not yet. Don’t let her go”.
Later that evening as I lay on the couch, I felt my body sink into the softness of the cushions beneath me. My arms and my legs so heavy with sadness and despair and my eyes closed so tightly that I couldn’t open them. I literally couldn’t move. I wondered , ” is this what it feels like to die? “. I waited for my soul to lift herself up and out, but it didn’t happen. Eventually, the paralysis that held my body hostage, released her grip, and I stumbled my way up to bed. Grief kissed me goodnight on the forehead, and told me to get some rest.
The next two days, leading up to today, have been a blur. I went to work and helped wash our plane. I even greased the nose landing gear. But I moved around in a fog.
Last night, I got lost in a video called ” The Silence” by Manchester Orchestra. If I close my eyes slightly when I watch it, I see Sam in it. I see his silhouette from the lighting backstage in the singer. I see him on the drums. I feel his presence all around me. Everything starts to blur as I drift in and out of the trance-like state that music puts me into. And I cried. I didn’t even realize I was crying until I had to wonder why my face was so wet. I watched it over and over.
Grief gave me those moments with my son last night. As she has done with the rare dreams of him: the ones I don’t want to wake up from.
Grief really is quite beautiful and nurturing: If you can believe that. She comes from a place where the deepest purest love lies within our heart and soul. She wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t loved my son with everything I had in me. She didn’t take him away…. She is trying to help me. And she is trying to protect me from Depression, who lingers in the darkest corners of my mind, just waiting for the opportunity to sink her grip into me. Depression took Sam from me. Sometimes, I think she wants to take me too.
So this morning when I woke up, I looked at Grief, with the best fake smile I could muster, and I said ” Well I guess we should get on with the day then, right? ” She looked me in the eye as she held my hand and said ” You can do this Judi. I’ve got you. We’ve all got you”.