Monday, 16 September 2013

On loss, grief and staying with it

"I am grateful and sad—grateful to no longer be in pain, sad about the loss of a dream. After two years of living alone I am no longer devastated, in anguish, or crippled with grief and, for this, I am deeply grateful. Now, when I think about the marriage—its beginnings and its ending—I’m just sad.

Something in me—some desire to meet an imagined expectation—wants to end this story on a note that reassures us all of new dreams incubating and freedom found. But, something stronger and deeper urges me not to reach for what is next, to simply sit with the gratitude and the sadness as they arise."

I read this passage a few days back and it's stayed with me. Because it fits. It describes, exactly, how I have felt for a while. I have spent the last 2 years being 'fine'. For lack of a better response, my automated answer to people's questions on my well-being would be 'I'm fine'. Some days it would be I'm good. I was too scared to admit that I was far from that. That would have been weak. I couldn't afford to be weak.

Systematically I rebuilt my life, one that made me strong. I was delighted when friends said I'd bounced back so well, dealt with it so well. I hadn't. I just didn't give myself time to know that. I busied myself with building a career and raising my son. It was so much easier than looking within. So much easier than seeing the cuts and bruises inside. 

Today, for the first time in 2 years, I have no where to go, nothing to do, no one I need to take care of. I will not do what should be done. I will do what I want to do. I won't read the books I think I should, or see the movies I ought to see. I won't run from myself, from what I want.  

I'm sitting in an empty apartment listening to songs that held special meaning for me and the ex. Songs I haven't had the courage to listen to for a long time. Songs he sung to me when we were starting our life together, building our home together. Tears stream down my face. For the first time I am looking at my grief, my loss. For the first time I am choosing to sit with it, as it arises. 

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