Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Picking at the Scab of Grief



I know there’s not a right way to grieve but sometimes I still question myself on how I’m handling it. I really haven’t done it before…not like this.

I found I was feeling guilty for not thinking about her but knew I was avoiding it because it was going to hurt.

I thought it was sort of like picking a scab when I know it’s still going to make me bleed but yet something compels me to do it, just to test the waters, just pick at it a little and see if it still hurts.

So I found the time, when I was up too early so I was laying in bed in the dark, quietly allowing my mind to go back to her last days.

Her last night
Sleeping by her side
Listening to her uneven breathing
The gasps
Wondering each time if that’d be her last
Remembering that some of her very last words and actions were things that made me laugh, totally apropos for such a funny woman (and at whose viewing my friend came to and remarked “It's sort of like a party atmosphere in here”)

And I lay in the dark thinking of those last days, that night, the next day when I helped the home health aide clean and care for her dying body. How I sobbed as I handed my cousin a thoroughly soiled pillow, crying, “just throw it away” before pulling myself together before closing the door and turning back around to help more.

And I lay in the dark thinking of those last days, that night, that time helping the home health aide and nothing. Nothing happened. No crying. I thought maybe that meant the scab was ready to fall off and leave a scar.

But there was something so unsatisfying about not having the release of a good cry and she continued popping up in to my thoughts. Then my sister posted a picture of us together with her and it hit me so hard I had to lie on the couch and sob so hard and so fast that it nearly made me vomit.

And then I knew that the wound wasn’t completely scarified yet.

A friend shared this quote on Facebook the other day:
“What if we never ‘get over’ certain deaths, or our childhoods? What if the idea that we should have by now, or will, is a great palace lie? What if we’re not supposed to? What if it takes a life time…?”~ Anne Lamott

And I let myself sob and then dried my tears and looked that quote up again.

I know there’s no right way to grieve and I can take as long as I need. 

I just had to come to the realization that it might be for the rest of my life.

1 comment:

  1. I think it changes, it morphs, but my experience has been that it never ends and that, even twenty years later, it can sneak up on you when you aren't looking.

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